EU to sanction further Iran over HR violations

The European Union is set next week to consider blacklisting more Iranian individuals because of serious human rights violations, Reuters quoted sources familiar with the situation as saying on Wednesday.

The EU’s foreign affairs council was likely on Monday to add 29 people to the list of 32 Iranians targeted by asset freezes and visa bans, an EU official said.

The official said the EU was increasingly worried about use of the death penalty in Iran, including against minors.

The 29 Iranians will be added to a list of 32 people that EU governments imposed punitive measures on in April.

The U.S. State Department has said that Iran executed about 312 people in 2010, many after trials conducted in secret. In many cases people who were executed for supposedly criminal offences were actually political dissidents, the department said in a report.

EU sanctions focus mostly on economic and trade measures aiming to force Iran to slow its nuclear program, which Tehran says serves peaceful purposes but Western powers worry aims to produce weapons.

In early 2011, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that the human rights situation in Iran has deteriorated since December 2010. Repressions against human rights defenders, women’s rights activists, journalists and opposition representatives have been strengthened.

There was a sharp rise in the rate of executions in Iran in Decem…

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