January 25, 2022

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Targeting Repression and Supporting Democracy

13 min read

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

Consistent with the goals of this week’s Summit for Democracy, the United States is committed to using its full range of tools to counter serious human rights abuse and repressive acts across the world.  That is why today we designated multiple actors across three countries in connection with serious human rights abuse and repressive acts targeting political opponents, peaceful protestors, and other individuals pursuant to Executive Orders (E.O.) 13818, 13553, and 13572.  The United States also submitted a report, pursuant to section 106 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 (CAATSA), identifying persons who are responsible for certain gross violations of human rights in Iran.

The Department of the Treasury, in consultation with the State Department, targeted military actors in connection with serious human rights abuse.  These actors include the commander of the Ugandan Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, two Syrian Air Force officers responsible for chemical weapons attacks on civilians, and three Syrian intelligence officers in Syria’s repressive security and intelligence apparatus.  These designations, which include individuals previously sanctioned by the European Union, also bring the United States into closer alignment with allies and partners, reflecting our shared commitment to promoting democracy and respect for human rights.

Additionally, Treasury sanctioned seven Iranian individuals and two Iranian law enforcement entities in connection with serious human rights abuse pursuant to E.O. 13553.  Further, pursuant to Section 106 of CAATSA, the Department of State identified two entities and two individuals who are responsible for certain gross violations of internationally recognized human rights in Iran.  This action under CAATSA included two prisons, the Zahedan Prison and Isfahan Central Prison, which are responsible for extrajudicial killings and arbitrary detention.

The United States is committed to promoting democracy and accountability for those who abuse human rights around the world.  The United States will utilize its full range of tools to highlight and disrupt these abuses of human rights.  We will continue to stand in solidarity with the people of these countries and others where abuses and violations of human rights continue to occur.

For more information about today’s designations, please see the Department of the Treasury’s press release .

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