The European Union sanctioned the Cultural Council of Iran and eight other officials

European Union Foreign Commissioner Josep Borrell with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna in Brussels on March 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo) (Virginia Mayo/)

The European Union imposed sanctions on Monday against the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution of Iran and eight Iranian officials, including judges, legislators and clerics accused of links to the crackdown on protesters.

The protests began after the death on September 16, Mahsa Aminia 22-year-old girl who had been arrested by the Iranian morality police, and have grown to become one of the most serious challenges to theocracy since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

At least 529 people have died in the demonstrations, according to human rights groups, and some 19,700 people have been detained by the authorities in a violent crackdown on the opposition. Some people linked to the protests have been executed.

The EU said it ordered an asset freeze and a ban on eight officials, and ordered a freeze on the assets of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution due to their involvement in “serious human rights violations in Iran”.

The European bloc asserted that the council is “a policy-setting body of the regime” that “promotes various projects against the freedom of women and girls, setting limits on their clothing and education. Its decisions have also discriminated against minorities.”

is the sixth round of sanctions that the EU has imposed on Iranian officials or entities, including ministers, military officials and the moral police, on allegations of human rights violations.

Iran’s violations may constitute crimes against humanity

FILE PHOTO.  Several people hold flags during a demonstration against the Republic of Iran in Geneva, Switzerland (REUTERS / Denis Balibouse)
FILE PHOTO. Several people hold flags during a demonstration against the Republic of Iran in Geneva, Switzerland (REUTERS / Denis Balibouse) (DENIS BALIBOUSE /)

Iranian authorities have committed violations in recent months that may amount to crimes against humanity, a UN-appointed expert told the Human Rights Council on Monday, pointing to cases of murder, imprisonment, enforced disappearances, torture, rape, violence sex and persecution.

javaid rehmanspecial rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, told the UN body that the scale and gravity of the crimes “point to the possible commission of international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity,” before to enumerate them.

Iran’s envoy to the Geneva-based Council claimed that the accusations were imaginary and that Iran was being targeted at the Council.

(With information from AP and Reuters)

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