The European Union and the United Kingdom have slapped additional sanctions on Iran in response to Tehran’s widespread use of force against peaceful protesters.
The protests, triggered by the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini in morality police custody, mark one of the boldest challenges to the Iran since the 1979 revolution.
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.
“They cannot,” she added. “The world, Europe is watching.”
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.
“Together with our partners, we have sent a clear message to the Iranian regime – the violent crackdown on protests must stop and freedom of expression must be respected.”
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.
This article is originally published by aljazeera.com