WASHINGTON -- The United States says it has sanctioned the Tehran Prisons Organization and a top official in connection with "serious human rights abuses" in Iran.
The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on April 13 said it was sanctioning Sohrab Soleimani and the prison organization, an action it said reflects “deep concern” regarding the human rights situation in the country.
Soleimani was head of the Tehran Prisons Organization at the time of the alleged abuses and still has a leadership role in the state prison organization that supervises the Tehran prisons, OFAC said. He is the brother of Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander Qassem Soleimani.
OFAC said the Tehran Prisons Organization “is responsible for or complicit in the commission of serious human rights abuses against political prisoners housed in Evin prison.”
The statement called Evin prison one of the country’s “most notorious facilities,” citing the mistreatment and abuse of prisoners of conscience.
It noted accounts by former Evin prisoners of harsh interrogations, forced confessions, psychological and physical torture, and denied access to medical care.
The statement cited an April 2014 incident at the prison in which security guards and senior prison officials attacked and severely beat political prisoners for several hours.
Under OFAC regulations, sanctions generally make it more difficult for a person or organization to interact with U.S. and foreign financial institutions.