The United States has imposed sanctions on Iranian morality police and government agency leaders after the death of a woman in police custody sparked protests and global condemnation.
At least nine protesters and two security force officers have been killed in violent protests since the following weekend Death of Mahsa Amini, 22.
Vice police arrested Miss Amini last week, saying she did not properly cover her hair with the Islamic headscarf – known as the hijab – which is compulsory for Iranian women. Miss Amini collapsed in a police station and died three days later.
The US Treasury has designated leaders of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security, Army Ground Forces, Basij Resistance Forces and other law enforcement agencies for sanctions – denying them access to their properties and bank accounts held in the United States.
“These officials oversee organizations that routinely use violence to suppress peaceful protesters and members of Iranian civil society, political dissidents, women’s rights activists, and members of Iran’s Baha’i community,” it said. the Treasury in a press release.
Police say Miss Amini died of a heart attack and deny abuse, and the government has released video footage claiming to show the moment she collapsed.
But her family say she had no history of heart disease, and her death in police custody sparked bold displays of defiance from protesters in the face of beatings and possible arrest.
Independent experts affiliated with the UN said Thursday that reports suggested she had been severely beaten by morality police, without providing evidence.
Niloufar Hamedi, a journalist who took pictures at the hospital after Ms Amini’s death, was arrested on Thursday, according to the journalist’s lawyer, Mohammadali Kamfirouzi.
He said his house had been raided.
Women cut their hair in solidarity
Women took to the streets in Tehran and across the country and many Iranians, especially young people, came to see his death amid the Islamic Republic’s brutal crackdown on dissent and the growing treatment rape young women by the morality police.
The protests have turned over the past five days into an open challenge to the government, with women stripping and burning their compulsory headscarves in the streets and Iranians calling for the downfall of the Islamic Republic itself.
“Death to the dictator”, was a common cry in the demonstrations.
These are the most serious protests since 2019, when protests erupted over a government hike in petrol prices.
A state TV presenter suggested the death toll from the mass protests could be as high as 17 – but did not say how he reached that figure.
Miss Amini’s death has also drawn condemnation from the United States, the European Union and the United Nations.
A wave of women around the world uploaded videos to social media platforms, cutting their hair in solidarity with Iranian women.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who was in New York on Thursday for the UN General Assembly, condemned the crackdown and said Germany would raise the violation of women’s rights at the Human Rights Council. UN man.
“The brutal attack on brave women in Iran is also an attack on humanity,” she said.
Iranian president asks US journalists to wear headscarves
In New York, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi took the stage on Wednesday at the UN General Assembly.
CNN’s chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour said she had planned to confront Mr Raisi about the protests in what would be her first interview in the United States, but the president pulled out when she asked. refused to wear a headscarf.
“We are in New York, where there is no law or tradition regarding the headscarf. I pointed out that no previous Iranian president had demanded it when I interviewed them outside Iran” , wrote the British-Iranian presenter alongside a photo of Mr Raisi’s empty veil. chair.
“I could not accept this unprecedented and unexpected condition”,
“As protests continue in Iran and people are being killed, this would have been an important time to speak with President Raisi.”