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U.S. places sanctions on Iran’s morality police for abuse of women

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Iran’s and U.S.’ flags are seen printed on paper in this illustration taken January 27, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/

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WASHINGTON, Sept 22 (Reuters) – The United States on Thursday put sanctions on Iran’s morality police, accusing it of abuse and violence against Iranian women and holding it responsible for the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died in custody last week

The U.S. Treasury accused the morality police of violating the rights of peaceful protesters and 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.

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“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.

Protesters in Tehran and other Iranian cities torched police stations and vehicles earlier on Thursday as public outrage over Amini’s death showed no signs of easing, with reports of security forces coming under attack.

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.

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of those designated that fall under U.S. jurisdiction is blocked and must be reported to the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Treasury said.

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Reporting By Arshad Mohammed and Daphne Psaledakis; Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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