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US Puts Sanctions on Iran's Morality Police

US Puts Sanctions on Iran's Morality Police

Thursday, 22 September, 2022 - 14:30
A sign marks the US Treasury Department in Washington, US, August 6, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on Iran's morality police accusing it of abuse and violence against Iranian women and of violating the rights of peaceful Iranian protesters, the US Treasury said.

It held the morality police responsible for the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, who died in custody last week after being arrested in Tehran for wearing "unsuitable attire."

The Treasury said it had put sanctions on seven senior Iranian military and security officials, including the chief of the Iranian army's ground forces.

"Mahsa Amini was a courageous woman whose death in Morality Police custody was yet another act of brutality by the Iranian regime’s security forces against its 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 free expression and assembly," she added.

The seven officials placed under sanctions included the head of Iran's morality police, Mohammad Rostami Cheshmeh Gachi; the commander of the Iranian army's ground forces, Kiyumars Heidari; and Esmail Khatib, Iran’s minister of intelligence, the Treasury said.

The police say Amini died of a heart attack and was not mistreated, but her family has cast doubt on that account. Independent experts affiliated with the UN said Thursday that reports suggested she was severely beaten by the morality police.

An anchor on Iran's state television suggested the death toll from the clashes between security forces and protesters, who are angry over the death of Amini, could be as high as 17.

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