Thursday, 9 February, 2023
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Canada sanctions Iran, Russia and Myanmar over 'gross rights violations'

Canada sanctions Iran, Russia and Myanmar over 'gross rights violations'

Canada announced Friday sanctions against 67 individuals and nine entities in several countries, including members of Iran's judiciary and prison system for alleged "gross and systematic human rights violations."

The sanctions, timed to mark world days for anti-corruption and human rights, also target Russia and Myanmar.

The penalties affected 22 senior members of Iran's judiciary, prison system and police forces, as well as senior aides to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and state-directed media, and came after the clerical regime's first execution of a protester, which has triggered global condemnation.

In a joint statement, Canada and the United States decried the Islamic regime's "brutal acts of violence against peaceful protestors and its ongoing repression of the Iranian people," including its "pervasive oppression and state-sponsored violence against women."

They accused Iranian security forces of having killed hundreds of protestors and arbitrarily detained thousands more "in their effort to silence the people of Iran."

"We denounce these draconian sentences in the strongest terms. These sentences are meant to intimidate people and suppress... dissent. They will not work," White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre added later.

She said that the Iranian regime "should know that the world is watching."

Ottawa and Washington said they were "gravely alarmed" by reports of sexual violence being used "as a heinous means of protest suppression" and the harsh sentences being handed down to protestors.

Sanctions were also leveled against 33 current and former officials and six entities in Russia for cracking down on its citizens who are speaking out against Moscow's "illegal invasion of Ukraine and anti-democratic policies."

Twelve individuals and three entities in Myanmar were also slapped with sanctions for enabling the junta's attacks on civilians and facilitating arms shipments to the regime.

"Dignity, freedom and justice are pillars of Canada's foreign policy," Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said in a statement.

"As the world witnesses the trampling of human rights of people in places such as Russia, Iran and Myanmar, we are reminded that we can only create change by standing up and defending the values that we hold dea