The United States announced that it would impose sanctions on senior Iranian security officials and Iran’s morality police following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
She was detained because she allegedly failed to wear the hijab (headscarf) properly.
“In response to this and other human rights violations in Iran – including the violent suppression of peaceful protests – the United States is imposing sanctions on Iran’s Morality Police and senior security officials who have engaged in abuses “serious human rights violations, pursuant to Executive Order 13553,” Blinken said in a statement. on freedom of speech in force. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has further designated Haj Ahmad Mirzaei. and Mohammad Rostami Cheshmeh Gachi, both senior officers in the Morality Police.”
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The Treasury Department’s OFAC also targeted seven senior leaders in Iranian security organizations.
“All these people were involved in the suppression and killing of non-violent protesters,” Blinken noted.
“The government of Iran must end its systematic persecution of women and allow peaceful protest. The United States will continue to express our support for human rights in Iran and hold those who violate them accountable,” he said.
“Mahsa Amini was a brave woman whose death in the custody of the Morality Police was yet another act of brutality by the Iranian regime’s security forces against her own people,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a release. “We condemn this unconscionable act in the strongest terms and call on the Iranian government to end its violence against women and its continued violent crackdown on free expression and assembly. Today’s action to impose sanctions on Iran’s Morality Police and Iran’s senior security officials who are responsible for this repression. the clear commitment of the Biden-Harris Administration to stand up for human rights and women’s rights, in Iran and around the world.”
At least nine protesters have been killed in clashes with Iranian security forces since violence escalated over the weekend following Amini’s death.
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Amini was arrested on September 14 by the LEF’s Morality Police, who said she did not properly cover her hair with the Islamic headscarf, which is mandatory for Iranian women, and sent her to an “educational and orientation” class at police headquarters.
She was taken to hospital the same day in a coma and died two days later from internal injuries.
The government released footage showing the moment she fell.
“Eyewitnesses claim that Amini died from injuries sustained while in Moral Police custody. Mahsa’s father told the press that the authorities covered bruises on her body at the hospital and refused to allow the family to see them. LEF authorities blamed her death on heart disease, but her family said she had no such condition,” the department noted, adding that Iran’s Morality Police demonstrated a culture of violence and excessive force under its leadership. Rostami.
An anchor on Iranian state television suggested the death toll from the mass protests could be as high as 17, but did not say how he arrived at that figure.
The UN human rights office has called for an investigation into the matter.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.