US imposes sanctions on dozens of people over human rights abuses

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The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on dozens of people across several countries, including in Afghanistan, China and Iran, cracking down on human rights abuses ahead of Human Rights Day on Sunday.

The US Treasury Department in a statement said it had imposed sanctions on 20 people over connections to human rights abuses in nine countries.

Meanwhile, the US State Department targeted people in Russia, Indonesia and China with visa restrictions, and two were hit with sanctions under a counterterrorism authority.

The actions, taken alongside measures imposed by Britain and Canada, included sanctions on members of the Taliban over their links to the repression of women and girls and two Chinese officials over their links to serious human rights abuse in Xinjiang.

Two Iranian intelligence officials Washington said recruited people for operations in the United States, including the lethal targeting of current and former US government officials as revenge for the 2020 killing of Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, were also targeted.

“Our commitment to upholding and defending human rights is sacrosanct,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in the statement.

“Treasury’s targeted sanctions announced today and over the past year underscore the seriousness of our commitment to promoting accountability for human rights abuse and safeguarding the US financial system from those who commit these egregious acts.”

The Treasury said that over the last year it has imposed sanctions on more than 150 individuals and entities across a dozen countries for issues relating to human rights abuse.