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UK, EU impose sanctions on Iranian officials over human rights abuses

The European Union and the United Kingdom have imposed additional sanctions on Iranian officials in response to the widespread use of force against protestors. 

So far, 336 demonstrators have been killed in the unrest and nearly 15,100 detained, according to the activist HRANA news agency.

“We stand with the Iranian people and support their right to protest peacefully and voice their demands and views freely,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.

Among those sanctioned by the EU with travel bans and asset freezes are four members of the squad that arrested Amini, high-ranking members of the Revolutionary Guards and Iran’s Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi, according to an EU statement.

The sanctions are meant “to send a clear message to those who think they can suppress, intimidate and kill their own people without consequences,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told reporters as she arrived for a meeting with her EU counterparts in Brussels.

Earlier on Monday, the United Kingdom’s foreign office said in a statement that it was sanctioning 24 Iranian officials, in coordination with international partners.

Those targeted by British sanctions include Iranian Communications Minister Issa Zarepour as well as the chief of its cyber police, Vahid Mohammad Naser Majid, and a range of political and security officials, it said.

“These sanctions target officials within the Iranian regime who are responsible for heinous human rights violations,” UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said.

Britain said Zarepour and Majid had been sanctioned for shutting down the internet in Iran, including disabling WhatsApp and Instagram as part of a wider clampdown on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

Read more at Al Jazeera 

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