Iranians protest to demand justice and highlight the death of Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by morality police and subsequently died in hospital in Tehran under suspicious circumstances.
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The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday levied fresh sanctions against Iranian leaders over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini and violent crackdown on peaceful protesters.
The sanctions come after weeks of protest following Amini’s death on Sept. 16. The Kurdish-Iranian woman died of an apparent brain hemorrhage in the custody of Iran’s Morality Police for allegedly wearing her hijab too loosely. Police have shut down internet access to social media and used lethal force to try to subdue demonstrations throughout the country, according to Treasury.
“The rights to freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly are vital to guaranteeing individual liberty and dignity,” Treasury Under Secretary Brian Nelson said in a statement. “The United States condemns the Iranian government’s Internet shutdown and continued violent suppression of peaceful protest and will not hesitate to target those who direct and support such actions.”
Treasury sanctioned seven senior leaders in Iran’s government and security apparatus for human rights abuses:
- Ahmad Vahid, Iran’s Minister of the Interior who maintains oversight over all Law Enforcement Forces deployed to subdue the protests
- Eisa Zarepour, the Minister of Communications
- Hossein Sajedinia, the Deputy Operations Commander of the Law Enforcement Forces
- Yadollah Javani, the Deputy Political Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
- Vahid Mohammad Naser Majid, the head of the Iranian Cyber Police
- Hossein Nejat, an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander and close associate of Iran’s Supreme Leader
- Hossein Rahimi is Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces police chief in Tehran, who oversees much of the Morality Police’s hijab compliance enforcement in the capital
Access to any property belonging to the individuals on U.S. soil will be blocked as a result of the sanctions.
The Treasury previously sanctioned Iran’s Morality Police, its senior leadership, and other senior leaders of Iran’s security organizations on Sept. 22.