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US Sanctions Iranian Officials and Morale Police for Mahsa Amini’s Death

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The United States announced that it would impose sanctions on top Iranian security officials and Iran’s morality police following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.

She had been arrested for allegedly not wearing the hijab (headscarf) correctly.

“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 top security officials who have committed serious human rights abuses, pursuant to Executive Order 13553, Blinken said in a statement. “The Morality Police, an element of Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces (LEF), arrests women for wearing ‘inappropriate’ hijabs and enforces other restrictions on freedom of expression. The Office of Foreign Assets Control ( OFAC) of the Treasury Department further designates Haj Ahmad Mirzaei and Mohammad Rostami Cheshmeh Gachi, both senior officials of the Morality Police.”

IRAN PROTESTS: 9 KILLED IN ESCALATION OF RIOTS WHEN PROTESTERS BURNED POLICE STATIONS, STABLED REGIME ENFORCEMENT

The Treasury Department’s OFAC also targeted seven senior leaders of Iran’s security organizations.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks about an initiative to support Afghan women during the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Tuesday, September 20, 2022.
(David Dee Delgado/Pool Photo via AP)

“These people have been involved in the suppression and murder of non-violent protesters,” Blinken noted.

“The Iranian government needs to end its systematic persecution of women and allow peaceful protest. The United States will continue to express its support for human rights in Iran and hold accountable those who violate them,” she said.

“Mahsa Amini was a brave woman whose death in Morality Police custody was another act of brutality by the Iranian regime’s security forces against her own people,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement. “We condemn this unconscionable act in the strongest terms and call on the Iranian government to end its violence against women and its ongoing violent crackdown on freedom of expression and assembly. Today’s action to sanction the Police of Iran’s Morality and the top Iranian security officials responsible for this oppression demonstrates the clear commitment of the Biden-Harris Administration to uphold human rights and women’s rights, in Iran and around the world.”

Protesters chant slogans during a demonstration over the death of a woman who was detained by the morality police, in central Tehran, Iran, on September 21, 2022.

Protesters chant slogans during a demonstration over the death of a woman who was detained by the morality police, in central Tehran, Iran, on September 21, 2022.
(AP Photo, File)

At least nine protesters have been killed in clashes with Iranian security forces since violence erupted the weekend after Amini’s death.

IRAN’S ‘MORALITY POLICE’ ACCUSED OF KILLING WOMAN FOR NOT WEARING HIJAB CORRECTLY, PROTESTS

Amini was arrested on September 14 by the LEF Morality Police, who said she did not properly cover her hair with the Islamic headscarf, which is compulsory for Iranian women, and sent her to an “education and orientation” class in the police headquarters.

She was taken to a hospital later that day in a coma and died two days later from internal injuries.

Kurdish activists hold headscarves and a portrait of Mahsa Amini during a protest against his death in Iran, at Martyrs' Square in downtown Beirut, on September 21, 2022.

Kurdish activists hold headscarves and a portrait of Mahsa Amini during a protest against his death in Iran, at Martyrs’ Square in downtown Beirut, on September 21, 2022.
(AP Photo/Bilal Hussein, File)

The government released video footage purporting to show the moment it collapsed.

“Eyewitnesses claim that Amini died due to injuries sustained while in the custody of the Morality Police. Mahsa’s father told the press that the authorities covered up the bruises on her body in hospital and refused to let her family saw them. LEF authorities attributed his death to a heart condition, but his family said he had no such condition,” the department noted, adding that Iran’s Morality Police has demonstrated a culture of violence and force. excessive under Rostami’s command.

An anchor on Iran’s 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.

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The UN human rights office called for an investigation into the matter.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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