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Sunday
Mar252012

Iran Special: The 17 Leading Officials in New EU Sanctions for Human Rights Abuses

Head of Judiciary Sadegh LarijaniOn Friday, the Council of the European Union adopted new measures prohibiting the "[sale], supply, transfer or export, directly or indirectly, [of] equipment which might be used for internal repression...to any person, entity or body in Iran or for use in Iran". 

The Council also added 17 prominent regime officials to its list of persons --- now with 78 names --- sanctioned for their role in human rights abuses. The most prominent additions are the head of judiciary, Sadegh Larijani; the Minister of Communications, Reza Taghipour; the Supreme Leader's representative to the armed forces, Ali Saeedi; and the head of State broadcaster IRIB, Ezzatollah Zarghami. It also includes officials involved in the death sentences for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, condemned for adultery, and Pastor Yousuf Nadarkhani, punished for "apostasy" because of his conversion to Christianity.


1. ZARGHAMI Ezzatollah

As Head of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), he is responsible for all programming decisions. IRIB has broadcast forced confessions of detainees and a series of  "show trials" in August 2009 and December 2011. These constitute a clear violation of international provisions on fair trial and the right to due process.

2. TAGHIPOUR Reza

Minister for Information and Communications. As Minister for Information, he is one of the top officials in charge of censorship and control of internet activities and also all types of communications (notably mobile phones). During interrogations of political detainees, the interrogators make use of the detainees' personal data, mail and communications. On several occasions following the last presi­dential election and during street demonstrations, mobile lines and text messaging were blocked, satellite TV channels were jammed and the internet locally suspended or at least slowed down.

3. KAZEMI Toraj

Colonel of the technology and communications police, he recently announced a campaign for the recruitment of government hackers in order to achieve better control of information on the internet and attack "dangerous" sites.

4. LARIJANI Sadegh

Head of the Judiciary. The Head of the Judiciary is required to consent to and sign off every qisas (retribution), hodoud (crimes against God) and ta'zirat (crimes against the state) punishment. This includes sentences attracting the death penalty, floggings and amputations. In this regard, he has personally signed off numerous death penalty sentences, contravening inter­ national standards, including stoning (16 people are currently under stoning sentence), executions by suspension strangulation, execution of juveniles, and public executions such as those where prisoners have been hung from bridges in front of crowds of thousands. He has also permitted corporal punishment sentences such as amputations and the dripping of acid into the eyes of the convicted. Since Sadeq Larijani took office, arbitrary arrests of political prisoners, human rights defenders and minorities have increased markedly. Executions have also increased sharply since 2009. Sadeq Larijani also bears responsibility for systemic failures in the Iranian judicial process to respect the right to a fair trial.

5. MIRHEJAZI Ali

Deputy Chief of the Supreme Leader's Office and Head of Security. Part of the Supreme Leader's inner circle, responsible for planning the suppression of protests which has been imple­ mented since 2009.

6. SAEEDI Ali

Representative of the Guide for the Pasdaran since 1995 after spending his whole career within the institution of the military, and specifically in the Pasdaran intelligence service. This official role makes him the key figure in the transmission of orders emanating from the Office of the Guide to the Pasdaran's repression apparatus.

7. RAMIN Mohammad-Ali

Main figure responsible for censorship as Vice- Minister in charge of the Press up to December 2010, he was directly responsible for the closure of many reforming newspapers (Etemad, Etemad- e Melli, Shargh, etc), closure of the Independent Press Syndicate and the intimidation and arrest of journalists.

8. MORTAZAVI Solat

Deputy Interior Minister for Political Affairs. Responsible for directing repression of persons who speak up in defence of their legitimate rights, including freedom of expression.

9. REZVANI Ghodomani

Deputy Governor of Rasht. Responsible for grave violations of the right to due process.

10. SHARIFI Malek Ajdar

Head of the judiciary in East Azerbaijan. Responsible for grave violations of the right to due process.

11. ELAHI Mousa Khalil

Prosecutor of Tabriz. Responsible for directing grave human rights violations of the right to due process.

12. FAHRADI Ali

Prosecutor of Karaj. Responsible for grave violation of human rights in demanding the death sentence for a juvenile.

13. REZVANMANESH Ali

Prosecutor. Responsible for grave violation of human rights in demanding the death sentence for a juvenile.

14. RAMAZANI Gholamhosein

Commander of IRGC [Revolutionary Guards] Intelligence. Responsible for grave human rights violation of persons who speak up in defence of their legitimate rights, including freedom of expression. Heads Department responsible for the arrest and torture of bloggers/journalist.

15. SADEGHI Mohamed

Colonel and Deputy of IRGC technical and cyber intelligence. Responsible for the arrests and torture of bloggers/journalists.

16. JAFARI Reza

Head of special prosecution of cyber crime. In charge of arrests, detentions and prosecutions of bloggers and journalists.

17. RESHTE-AHMADI Bahram

Deputy Prosecutor in Tehran. Runs Evin pros­ecution centre. Responsible for the denial of rights, including visits and other prisoner's rights, to human rights defenders and political prisoners.

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