EU imposes sanctions on 9 Taliban, Russian officers for violations of women’s rights

The European Union on Tuesday imposed sanctions on nine people, including two senior members of the Taliban government, Russian military officers and policemen, as well as an Iranian prison facility, accusing them all of links to rights violations and sexual abuse of women.

“We are stepping up efforts to tackle sexual and gender-based violence, to ensure that perpetrators are held fully accountable for their actions and to fight impunity,” said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. The announcement comes on the eve of International Women’s Day.

The EU move will see an asset freeze and travel ban imposed on the nine, and an asset freeze slapped on Qarchak prison – one of the Iranian regime’s women’s detention facilities – as well as on the Syrian Republican Guard and a establishment of the Myanmar Army.

Among those targeted are two incumbent Taliban government ministers, accused of issuing decrees restricting the rights of women and girls. The Taliban have imposed tough measures since they took power in August 2021. They have banned women from public life and from education for girls beyond sixth grade.


The European Union has imposed sanctions on nine people, including the Taliban and Russian officers, for violating women's rights.

The European Union has imposed sanctions on nine people, including the Taliban and Russian officers, for violating women’s rights.


The EU also targeted the head of the Moscow police station, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Georgievich Fedorinov, and one of his men. The commander is accused of authorizing the “arbitrary arrest and detention, and subsequent torture, of female anti-war protesters”.

Sanctions have also been handed down to two Russian military commanders whose troops are accused of committing rape and sexual assault in Ukraine.

As months of protests continue in Iran over the September death of Mahsa Amini after his arrest by the country’s morale police – one of the most serious challenges to Iran’s theocracy since its 1979 Islamic revolution – the EU has singled out the prison of Qarchak in Tehran province.

The 27-nation bloc said women held there “are subjected to torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence. They are held in overcrowded cells, without access to clean drinking water, food and medical care, which constitute cruel, inhumane acts or degrading treatment.”


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