‘Woman, Life, Freedom’: Blinken Announces New Sanctions Against Iran Related To Nationwide Protests, Deaths Last Year

[Twitter/Screenshot/User: @SecBlinken]

John Oyewale Contributor
Font Size:

The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Friday new sanctions against Iran in relation to the country’s handling of Mahsa Amini’s death and the resulting protests.

“Today, we are announcing new sanctions against 29 other individuals and entities in connection with the Iranian regime’s human rights abuses,” Blinken said in a video statement in Amini’s memory on X, formerly Twitter.

The U.S. previously sanctioned more than 70 individuals and organizations involved in the repression of protests that broke out following 22-year-old Amini’s death while in the custody of Iran’s “morality police” for allegedly wearing her hijab loosely, Blinken further said as he outlined U.S. efforts in supporting the protests.

“When the Iranian regime throttled internet access, we helped provide technologies to get people online so they could share information and exercise their right to free expression. We helped establish an independent fact-finding mission through the United Nations,” Blinken said.

Amini’s death set off “a nationwide movement led by Iranian women and young people calling for ‘Woman, Life, Freedom,'” Blinken noted, adding that the Iranian authorities killed hundreds of protesters, including minors, arrested thousands more, abused detainees and held sham trials and hasty executions in response. (RELATED: Country’s Police To Resume Enforcing Religious Clothing On Women After Nationwide Protests)

Iranian security forces Saturday briefly detained Amini’s father, Amjad, apparently as part of an extensive show of force in the country’s mostly Kurdish areas amid expectations of fresh unrest during the one-year anniversary of Amini’s death, Reuters reported. They reportedly warned Amjad against marking the anniversary. The family’s lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht, also reportedly was indicted for “propaganda against the system” and could be imprisoned if convicted.

Iran’s response to the “Woman, Life, Freedom” uprising was one of “unspeakable cruelty” including the execution of seven men, the subjection of women to degrading punishment such as washing corpses, and the denial of access to public services and amenities, Amnesty International said in a commemorative statement Wednesday.

“As the epitaph on Ms. Amini’s grave reads, ‘[Her] name will become a symbol.’ Indeed, it has,” Blinken further said.