US sanctions Iranian prison officials over ‘serious’ rights abuses against women and girls

On March 8th, International Women’s Day, the United States Treasury Department announced the imposition of sanctions against two senior Iranian prison officials for their involvement in human rights abuses against women and girls. In addition, the Treasury also sanctioned three Iranian companies, their leaders, and two top Iranian army commanders for their role in enabling law enforcement to engage in repression.

In a statement, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson expressed solidarity with Iranian women who have advocated for fundamental freedoms despite the brutal regime’s attempts to suppress their voices by any means.

Why have the US imposed more sanctions against Iran?

These sanctions are part of the tenth round of measures taken by the US against Iranian officials since the nationwide protests that erupted after the death of Mahsa Amini, who died while in the custody of the morality police last September. The demonstrations posed the most significant domestic threat to the Iranian regime in years, and Tehran’s brutal crackdown on the protests has especially targeted women.

Who are the Iranian prison officials that got sanctioned?

The two sanctioned prison officials, Ali Chaharmahali and Dariush Bakhshi, have run prisons where political prisoners and protesters have been tortured, sexually abused, and violently threatened. The three companies sanctioned on Wednesday – Naji Pas Company, Naji Pars Amin Institute, and Entebagh Gostar Sepehr Company – have helped procure goods and material for Iran’s security services, according to the Treasury.

Who else did the US sanction?

The US also targeted Mahdi Amiri, who has been central to Iran’s internet shutdowns in the face of widespread protests, as well as Sayyed Abdolrahim Mousavi, the commander in chief of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army, and Habib Shahsavari, a commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to the Treasury.

As women around the world marched to mark International Women’s Day, many showed their support for Iranians who took to the streets following Ms. Amini’s death. In his statement marking the day, US President Joe Biden noted that the rights of girls and women remain under attack in far too many places, including Iran and Afghanistan, where the Taliban bars women and girls from attending school and pursuing employment.

Image Credit; Blondinrikard Fröberg

Tags : Iran