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US sanction Iranian officials over crackdown on protestors

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Iran is gripped in massive protests after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of the “morality police”. The government has cracked down on the protestors quite ruthlessly, with hundreds dead and thousands in prison. The United States on Wednesday decided to sanction all such Iranian officials involved in the crackdown on protestors.

“We will continue to find ways to support the people of Iran as they peacefully protest in defense of their human rights and fundamental freedoms, and in doing so, will continue to impose costs on individuals and entities in Iran who engage in the brutal repression of the Iranian people,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

The US Treasury Department informed in a separate statement that it has sanctioned Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officials including the commander of its intelligence wing and also the provincial and Iranian prison officials. Officials involved in internet censorship throughout Iran are also targeted with sanctions.

The sanctions targeted Hedayat Farzadi, who is the warden of Evin prison, where most of the political prisoners are lodged. The US also claimed that the prisoners are subjected to torture in the prison and Farzadi is overseeing the torture and mistreatment. The Treasury Department also informed that before taking charge of the prison, Farzadi has been known to carry out executions and public amputations.

Evin prison is holding many detainees accused of security charges, including dual nationality of Iran. Iranian American businessman Siamak Namazi is also held at Evin prison.

Other sanctioned individuals include prison officials, governors of provinces suffering from violence, officials of Iran‘s intelligence and security ministry and Iranian company Samane Gostar Sahab Pardaz Private Ltd Co. which provide the Iranian government with censorship, surveillance, and espionage tools, according to the US.

The sanctions will freeze any US asset belonging to such individuals and those involved in transactions with them will also face risks of getting sanctioned.

After the death of Mahsa Amini, a wide range of Iranians have come out onto the streets, some even calling for “Death to (Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali) Khamenei”.

The human rights group claim that more than 250 protestors, including teenage girls have been killed in the government crackdown. The authorities accuse US-led western countries of inciting the riots with media reported that 30 members of security forces were also killed.

With inputs from Reuters

 

 

 

 

 

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