The U.S. has enacted new sanctions against Iran for censorship and alleged human rights violations. Iran has a long history of human rights abuses and harsh action against political dissidents — particularly activists seeking governmental change within the country. Many female activists and protesters seeking equal rights have also been persecuted under the laws of the strict Islamic regime’s heavy fist.

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin stated this week that,

Iran not only exports terrorism and instability across the world, it routinely violates the rights of its own people. The Iranian regime diverts national resources that should belong to the people to fund a massive and expensive censorship apparatus and suppress free speech. Those who speak out against the regime’s mismanagement and corruption are subject to abuse and mistreatment in Iran’s prisons. America stands with the people of Iran, and Treasury is taking action to hold the Iranian regime accountable for ongoing human rights abuses, censorship, and other despicable acts it commits against its own citizens.”

The individuals being sanctioned include three of the leading members of the paramilitary forces of Ansar-e Hezbollah. The far-right pro-government organization that is famous for its violent enforcement of government mandates. They routinely target citizens wearing western style clothes, especially woman who do not cover their hair properly; they also go after students and journalists who speak out against the Iranian government. Mnuchin described Ansar-e Hezbollah to be an “organization supported by the Iranian regime that harasses and attacks the Iranian people.” The sanctions are also intended to target the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran, a facility where political prisoners are abused and tortured for their transgressions.