January 28, 2023

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UK slaps sanctions on Iran ‘morality police’ after death of Mahsa Amini

Liz Truss’s government has imposed sanctions on Iran’s so-called morality police and other top security officials amid widespread protests in the country and accusations of human rights violations.

Thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets in protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who had been detained by police in Tehran for allegedly not adhering to Iran’s strict Islamic dress code.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) announced on Monday that it has sanctioned the regime’s morality police “in its entirety”, as well as five leading political and security officials in Iran for “committing serious human rights violations”.

Foreign secretary James Cleverly said Britain “stands with the people of Iran who are bravely calling for accountability from their government and for their fundamental human rights to be respected”.

He added: “These sanctions send a clear message to the Iranian authorities – we will hold you to account for your repression of women and girls, and for the shocking violence you have inflicted on your own people.”

The FCDO said it has sanctioned the morality police in its entirety as well as both its chief, Mohammed Rostami Cheshmeh Gachi, and the head of the Tehran division, Haj Ahmed Mirzaei.

It said sanctions are being imposed on “five leading political and security officials in Iran for committing serious human rights violations”.

Those sanctioned also include Gholamreza Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Basij force, responsible for internal security in Iran, Hassan Karami, commander of the Naja special forces unit of the Iranian police, and Hossein Ashtari, commander-in-chief of the Iranian police.

Last week, the Foreign Office summoned Iran’s most senior diplomat in the UK, Mehdi Hosseini Matin, over the country’s crackdown on protests.

Demonstrations continue across Iran over the death on 16 September of Ms Amini in the custody of the country’s morality police in Tehran.

Iran’s government has claimed that Ms Amini was not mistreated, but her family says her body showed bruises and other signs of beating.

The sanctions are intended to ensure that the individuals listed cannot travel to the UK, and that any of their assets held in the UK, or by UK persons anywhere, will be frozen.

“For decades the morality police have used the threat of detention and violence to control what Iranian women wear and how they behave in public,” the FCDO said.

The Truss government also cited what it described as reports of live ammunition being used against protesters, and the bodies of demonstrators killed by security services being buried without their families’ knowledge.

Original News : https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/uk-sanctions-iran-police-death-protests-b2199415.html

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