The European Union imposed an eighth package of sanctions on Iranian officials and entities over their role in “serious” human rights violations, following the execution of three protesters last week.
The individuals targeted by restrictive measures include the commander of the Tehran Police Relief Unit of Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces, the spokesman of the Iranian police and the secretary of Iran’s Supreme Council of Cyberspace, the European Council said in a statement on May 22.
The council also listed the IRGC Cooperative Foundation, which it described as “the body responsible for managing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ investments and funnelling money into the regime’s brutal repression and the Student Basij Organization (SBO).”
“The latter acts as the IRGC’s violent enforcers on university campuses where students staged protests in the fall of 2022, and were subsequently the victims of repression and serious human rights violations such as abduction and torture,” according to the statement.
Iranian authorities have cracked down hard on months-long nationwide protests sparked by the September death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in police custody.
More than 520 people were killed during demonstrations and over 20,000 others were unlawfully detained, activists say. Following biased trials, the judiciary has handed down stiff sentences, including the death penalty, to protesters.
The Islamic Republic has escalated executions in recent weeks to try to instill fear in society. Last week, three protesters were executed in Isfahan after the authorities held rushed trials, pushed the accused into forced “confessions" and denied them due process, sparking an outcry both inside and outside Iran.
In response to the Islamic Republic's crackdown on dissent, the EU has imposed restrictive measures on a total of 216 Iranian individuals and 37 entities. The sanctions consist of an asset freeze, a travel ban to the EU and a prohibition to make funds or economic resources available to those listed.
The bloc has also put in place a ban on exports to Iran of equipment which might be used for “internal repression” and of equipment for monitoring telecommunications.
The European Union supports “the fundamental aspiration of the people of Iran for a future where their universal human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected, protected and fulfilled,” the council said in its statement.
The bloc called on the Iranian authorities to “end the practice of imposing and carrying out death sentences against protesters, reverse the death penalty sentences pronounced, as well as provide due process to all detainees.”