The treatment of lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh is one example of the mullahs’ systematic abuse of human dignity. For defending Iranian women refusing to wear headscarves, she was sentenced to 148 lashes and 38 years in notorious Evin prison, the regime’s “torture factory.”
Kaveh Shahrooz, originally from Iran and today a human rights activist in Canada, notes that Sotoudeh is “the voice for (the) voiceless.” He says a good way to hold the regime responsible would be to apply Magnitsky sanctions now enacted in several democracies to 19 Iranian officials who have played a role in everything from carrying out mass murder to suppressing free speech.
This would be nuanced, allow all governments to calibrate their pressure on Tehran, and not stand in the way of mutually fruitful engagement, provided it does not include those implicated in mass crimes. The “name and shame” approach of the Magnitsky measures is consistent with internationally-supported Canadian policy of criticizing Iran’s government with our yearly human rights resolution.
Struan Stevenson, a member of the European Parliament for 15 years from Scotland, advocates a stronger policy. He recently urged the Trump administration to maintain financial pressure on the Iranian regime and termed the U.S. president’s decision to end the waivers for Turkey, Iraq, India, Japan, and China that had permitted them to continue purchasing Iranian oil “the final nail” in “the mullahs’ coffin.” Iranian oil exports, Stevenson advocates, should be squeezed closer to zero even though they have fallen to about 1m barrels daily, less than half of the pre-sanctions level.
Stevenson also welcomed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement of his government’s inclusion of the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) on the U.S. terror blacklist.
Iran Briefing | News Press Focus on Human Rights Violation by IRGC, Iran Human Rights
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