Monday, February 11, 2019

Formal Request Made for Treasury Sanctions Against Iranian Leaders for Sending Christians to “Torture Factory”

Three Judges and Infamous Evin Prison Targeted Under Global Magnitsky Act

02/11/2019 Washington D.C. – Today, International Christian Concern (ICC) submitted the names of three Iranian judges and the infamous Evin Prison to the US Treasury for consideration of sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act. The names submitted are Judge Mashallah Ahmadzadeh, Judge Mohammed Moghiseh, Judge Ahmad Zargar, and Evin Prison itself.

February 11 marks the 40-year anniversary of the founding of the modern Islamic Republic of Iran. Since then, Iran has been ruled by elites who have fused hardline Islam with governance. Christians are viewed as a national security threat and prosecuted under these judges and then imprisoned in the infamous Evin Prison, commonly referred to as the “torture factory.”

These three Revolutionary Court judges, and Evin Prison, have a long record of human rights abuses toward Iranian Christians. The judges are responsible for convicting Christians on trumped up charges. They wield Iran’s legal system as a systemic tool of repression against religious minorities. Often, when Christians stand firm in their faith, Iran’s judges send them to the notorious Evin Prison, located on the outskirts of Tehran. Stories of those who survived Evin Prison are heartbreaking; the wide variety of abuse faced by inmates is chilling.

Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, “For the last 40 years, Iran has sought to control the souls of its citizens through hardline Islamic judges and the threat of incarceration at Evin Prison. Christians have faced degrading and inhumane treatment for no other reason than their faith. Yet, despite this intense persecution, they firmly held onto their faith. In response, these judges have only strengthened their resolve to further crack down on all practice of Christianity.”  

ICC tracked these religious freedom violations in order to build the legal background for the Magnitsky submission. The Global Magnitsky Act is a powerful legal tool which specifically targets individuals and entities to be sanctioned for human rights violations. The original legal framework passed in 2012 which specifically targeted Eastern European perpetrators. The act was later expanded to include all global perpetrators of human rights violations. For more information on the act, please visit the Treasury Department web page on the Magnitsky Act;

Matias Perttula, ICC’s Advocacy Director, said, The Global Magnitsky Act is a monumental piece of bipartisan legislation that empowered the fight for human rights around the world in a brand new way. This legal tool empowers the US government and the civil society community to target individuals and entities guilty of oppressing people and violating their God-given human rights with the full force of the United States sanctions capabilities.”

Those wishing to show support for the sanctions request may contact the Department of the Treasury's Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Office, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) by the following methods:

Toll-Free Hotline:  1-800-540-6322​
E-Mail Address:  ofac_feedback@treasury.gov
Postal Address:  Office of Foreign Assets Control
                             U.S. Department of the Treasury 
                             Treasury Annex 
                             1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 
                             Washington, DC 20220

You may also wish to contact your House Representative and Senators.

SOURCES:  This article is from a Press Release from International Christian Concern dated February 11, 2019, and additional information from the US Department of Treasury website.

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