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US sanctions Iran’s ‘morality police’ over ongoing protest

Newspapers with Amini, a victim of country's "morality police", are seen in Tehran

The United States Treasury Police has sanctioned Iran’s ‘morality police’ and senior security officials for violence against protesters and the death of Masha Amini.

The 22-year-old who died last week in custody was arrested in Tehran for allegedly wearing ‘an unsuitable attire’ and putting on her hijab headscarf improperly.

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The Biden administration on Thursday sanctioned the ‘morality police’ and seven leaders of the Iranian security organization, saying they are, “Organizations that routinely employ violence to suppress peaceful protesters and members of Iranian civil society, political dissidents, women’s rights activists, and members of the Iranian Baha’i community.”

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The Secretary of the Treasury, Janet L. Yellen said “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,”

“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.”

The secretary said that the decision to sanction the morality police and the senior security officials, “demonstrates the Biden – Harris Administration’s clear commitment to stand up for human rights, and the rights of women, in Iran and globally.”

Earlier in the week, the Iranian police denied beating Masha Amini and claimed that she died from a heart condition.

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Tehran’s police chief, Hossein Rahimi, on Monday said she was detained for wearing tight trousers and wearing her headscarf improperly, but that claims she was mistreated were “completely false”.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) expressed sympathy for the family and relatives of Amini and called on the judiciary to prosecute any people circulating false news and rumours.

“We have requested the judiciary to identify those who spread false news and rumours on social media as well as on the street and who endanger the psychological safety of society and to deal with them decisively,” they said.

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