The European Union on Monday added two Iranian ministers and 30 other people to its list of individuals slapped with restrictive measures for their responsibility for human rights violations in Iran.
This is the fifth round of EU human rights sanctions against Iran, following the regime’s violent crackdown on protests that have rocked the country since the September death of Mahsa Amini, a young woman who died after being detained by police.
Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mehdi Esmaeili and Minister of Education Yousef Nouri have now been added to the list of individuals subject to restrictive measures, including the freezing of their assets in the EU, an entry ban and a ban on receiving funds from the EU.
The EU Council noted that under Esmaeli’s authority, the Ministry of Culture has threatened to revoke the travel and work bans of artists and musicians who do not follow the government line.
It also accused the minister of working to further restrict freedom of expression by currently defending in parliament a bill that would criminalise the sharing or dissemination of any information deemed critical of the regime.
The education minister, meanwhile, is being held responsible for the “arbitrary” detention of students displaying views contrary to those of the government, for example on the wearing of the hijab, which is mandatory for women.
Two entities linked to Iranian law enforcement have also been added to the sanctions list.