Politics

Bosses of Nazanin jail placed on sanctions list for human rights abuses

The former directors of a notorious Iranian prison where Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was held have been put on a list of UK sanctions against human rights abusers.

Survivors of incarceration of Evin jail – where Nazanin and other British-Iranian joint nationals have been wrongly imprisoned – have described how torture, electrocution and even rape are used on dissidents.

The brutal prison’s former bosses Ali Cheharmahali and Ghloamreza Ziyayi are on a sanctions list of 30 individuals including Russians involved in abuses in Ukraine, arms dealers and commanders responsible for the use of sexual violence in conflict.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said the asset freeze and travel bans announced on Friday “expose those behind the heinous violations”.

Ten officials connected to Iran’s judicial and prisons systems, including those linked to handing protesters’ death penalties, were targeted.

Russian Colonel Ramil Rakhmatulovich Ibatullin was sanctioned for his alleged role as commander of the 90th Tank Division on the front line of the invasion of Ukraine.

And Russian security agents Andrey Tishenin and Artur Shambazov were named for torturing poltiical prisoner Ukrainian Oleksandr Kostenko after he was kidnapped in Crimea in 2015.

Individuals in the Myanmar military junta, an arms dealer in Serbia and alleged human rights abusers in Nicaragua were added to the list, as was a Muslim cleric from Pakistan accused of forced conversions and marriages of girls from religious minorities..

Commissioners accused of mobilising troops to rape civilians in South Sudan and a group said to be behind sexual violence in Mali were targeted as well.

Co-ordinated with international allies, the action was taken to mark International Anti-Corruption Day on Friday and Human Rights Day on Saturday.

Mr Cleverly said: “It is our duty to promote free and open societies around the world.

“Today our sanctions go further to expose those behind the heinous violations of our most fundamental rights to account.

“We are committed to using every lever at our disposal to secure a future of freedom over fear.”

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