UK sanctions Iran’s morality police following death of Mahsa Amini

UK sanctions Iran's morality police following death of Mahsa Amini

UK sanctions have been placed on senior Iranian security and political figures – and the so-called morality police – following the death of Mahsa Amini in custody.

The 22-year-old died while in custody last month after being detained for alleged violations of the country’s strict dress code.

In response, the UK has sanctioned the country’s morality police in its entirety, as well as both its chief Mohammed Rostami Cheshmeh Gachi and the head of the Tehran division Haj Ahmed Mirzaei.

The UK is also imposing sanctions on:

• Gholamreza Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Basij force
• Hassan Karami, the commander of the NAJA Special Forces Unit of the Iranian police
• Hossein Ashtari, the commander-in-chief of the Iranian police

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Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said: “The UK stands with the people of Iran who are bravely calling for accountability from their government and for their fundamental human rights to be respected.

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“These sanctions send a clear message to the Iranian authorities – we will hold you to account for your repression of women and girls and for the shocking violence you have inflicted on your own people.”

The sanctions are intended to ensure the individuals listed cannot travel to the UK, and that any of their assets held in the UK, or by UK persons anywhere, will be frozen.

“For decades the morality police have used the threat of detention and violence to control what Iranian women wear and how they behave in public,” the FCDO said.

A police motorcycle burns during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini

The Government also cited what it described as reports of live ammunition being used against protesters, and the bodies of demonstrators killed by security services being buried without their families’ knowledge.

Last week, the Foreign Office summoned Iran’s most senior diplomat in the UK, Mehdi Hosseini Matin, over the country’s crackdown on protests.

Demonstrations continue across Iran over the death on 16 September.

Iran’s government insists Ms Amini was not mistreated, but her family says her body showed bruises and other signs of beating.

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