|European Union tightens sanctions against Iran||
TEHRAN – The European Union on Monday tightened sanctions against Iran over alleged human rights violations in the country, according to the Associated Press.
EU foreign ministers, meeting in Brussels, added nine people they claimed were “responsible for serious human rights violations” to the list of those subject to a travel ban and an asset freeze, bringing the number of people sanctioned in this way to 87. The foreign ministers also decided to freeze the assets of one “entity,” meaning a company or organization.
The measures will be valid until April 13, 2014. The names of those sanctioned will be published on Tuesday.
In a report issued in Geneva on February 28, Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, voiced concern at what he called an apparent rise in the frequency and gravity of abuses in Iran and claimed that the Islamic Republic had failed to investigate “widespread, systemic, and systematic violations of human rights.”
The new EU sanctions are separate from measures imposed on Iran over its nuclear program.
The Iranian Judiciary’s Human Rights Committee on March 5 dismissed Shaheed’s recent report, saying it showed abuse of the United Nations mechanisms.
The Human Rights Committee said that the report was “illegal” and “not based on the realities,” adding that it was meant to exert pressure on Iran, which is an independent country.
The committee also defended Iran’s human rights record and called the Islamic Republic a democratic country.
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