Canada will be placing sanctions on dozens of Iranian individuals and entities, including the country’s so-called morality police, after the death of an Iranian woman while in police custody.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the sanctions Monday — but did not name the individuals or entities — in an address mainly concerning post-tropical storm Fiona’s impact in Canada’s east.
“Unfortunately, Iran doesn’t respect human rights, and that’s nothing new,” Trudeau said.
“We will stop at nothing to ensure this regime is held to account and we’ll support the families until justice is served.”
Twenty-two-year-old Mahsa Amini died on Sept. 16 while in police custody. She was apprehended in Iran by the country’s morality police for “unsuitable attire,” allegedly wearing a hijab improperly and breaking a strictly enforced dress code.
Iranian officials say that she died of a heart attack and was not mistreated, but Amini’s family casts doubt on that account, and United Nations experts have said reports suggest she was severely beaten.
Her death has led to protests in Iran and across the world, including in Canada, with some women cutting their hair and burning their hijabs.
Protests in Iran have spread to at least 46 cities, towns and villages, with state TV suggesting at least 41 protesters and police have been killed.
However, Norway-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR) said Sunday evening there have been at least 57 deaths, but ongoing internet blackouts have made counting fatalities difficult. More than 1,200 demonstrators have been arrested, according to The Associated Press.
Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said Monday in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly that Canada has a “feminist foreign policy” and supports the women protesting.
“In Iran, women protesting the death of Mahsa Amini are met with arrests and bullets,” she said.
“We salute their courage and join them in sending a strong message that women’s rights are human rights.”
The U.S. has already placed sanctions on the morality police and Iranian security agencies in light of the event, and members of Parliament in Canada adopted a motion to stand in solidarity with Iranian women.
“To the women in Iran who are protesting and to those who are supporting you, we stand with you,” Trudeau said Monday.
With files from the Associated Press
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