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.
Mike Kemp | In Pictures via Getty Images
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 within the custody of Iran’s Morality Police for allegedly wearing her hijab too loosely. Police have shut down web access to social media and used lethal force to attempt to subdue demonstrations throughout the country, based on 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 an announcement. “The US condemns the Iranian government’s Web shutdown and continued violent suppression of peaceful protest and won’t hesitate to focus on those that 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 top of the Iranian Cyber Police
- Hossein Nejat, an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander and shut 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 within the capital
Access to any property belonging to the individuals on U.S. soil might be blocked consequently 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.