New Zealand sanctions 22 members of Iran’s security forces

Sydney, Australia, Dec 12 (EFE).- New Zealand on Monday announced sanctions against 22 members of the Iranian security forces connected to the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody in September and the “brutal suppression” of subsequent protests.

“We are imposing travel bans on those involved in the violent suppression of protests and human rights violations,” Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said in a joint statement with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, opening the possibility to other similar sanctions.

The sanctions prevent the 22 affected individuals, including several members of the morality police, who enforce compliance of Iran’s conservative dress code and arrest mostly women, from entering or transiting New Zealand.

It also affects several members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Law Enforcement Command and the voluntary paramilitary organization, Basij Resistance Force, according to the statement.

Among the individuals sanctioned are IRGC Commander-in-Chief Hossein Salami, the head of Basij Organization, Gholom-Reza Soleimani and the chief of the morality police, Mohammed Rostami, among others.

New Zealand has already imposed sanctions, involving asset freezes and export bans, on Iranian individuals and companies in line with those implemented by the United Nations.

It has also supported a series of measures at the UN to investigate human rights violations in Iran and has suspended a dialogue with the country on human rights as a result of the incident.

“We continue to explore other measures to send a clear signal that the repressive approach to its own population places Iran well outside globally accepted human rights values,” Nanaia Mahuta added.

Mahsa Amini died in police custody in September days after being arrested by the morality police for not wearing her headscarf properly. Her death sparked massive protests in the country that were violently repressed. EFE


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