The move allows Brussels to freeze assets and impose visa bans on individuals who are responsible for serious human rights violations.
European Union foreign ministers have agreed to ban the import of Iranian oil as part of sanctions designed to pressure Iran to end its alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons.
The European Union is set to widen its sanctions against Iran when the club's foreign ministers meet in Brussels on January 23.
An opposition activist in eastern Belarus is facing eviction from her home and could also be divested of her parental rights.
The jailed former Belarusian presidential candidate Andrey Sannikau has been allowed to see his lawyer for the first time in two months.
A group of alleged victims of the Belarus regime have filed a case in a Paris court against visiting Belarusian Interior Minister Anatoly Kuleshov.
The outgoing president of the European Parliament says the prosecution in Ukraine of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has set back relations between Kyiv and Brussels.
Medical personnel have begun forcibly feeding a jailed political activist on hunger strike in eastern Belarus.
Millions of Belarusian rubles raised by supporters of a jailed Belarusian human rights activist have been wired to the state treasury to pay a court-ordered fine.
U.S.-based pro-democracy group Freedom House calls popular uprisings that have swept the Arab world the greatest challenge to authoritarian rule since the collapse of Soviet communism.
A jailed former Belarusian presidential candidate has been placed in solitary confinement and an opposition activist transfered to a "closed regime" prison for violating rules.
The friends and colleagues of a political activist jailed in eastern Belarus have been prevented from visiting him on his birthday.