Brussels, 8 March 2023 (TDI): On the eve of International Women’s Day, European Union (EU) sanctioned individuals and organizations involved in committing serious sexual and gender-based violence and abuses.

The Council imposed restrictive measures on nine individuals and three entities under the pretext of human rights violations, in particular gender-based violence.

The EU demonstrated its commitment to promoting and protecting human rights in the world with this important move.

The EU backlisted nine individuals, including two Afghan Ministers, Myanmar’s Deputy Home Affairs Minister, a Burmese Minister, Russian Officers, and three entities for human rights violations targeting women.

The statement by the member states of the EU stated, “The Council decided today to impose restrictive measures on nine individuals & three entities in view of their role in committing serious human rights violations and abuses, particularly sexual & gender-based violence.”

Afghan blacklisted individuals include Taliban ministers namely Neda Mohammad Nadeem, Taliban’s minister in charge of higher education, and Sheikh Muhammad Khalid Hanafi, acting Taliban minister for the propagation of virtue.

Myanmar’s Deputy Minister of home affairs, Major General Toe Ui is on the list due to allowing military security agents to “use forced nudity, rape, electro-shocks, burning of genitalia and excessive violence during the arbitrary detention and interrogation of men, women.”

Among others, two high-profile police officers in Moscow, and two Russian and two South Sudanese military commanders were also blacklisted. Qarchak prison in Iran, the Syrian Republic Guards have also been put under restrictive measures.

The EU’s Foreign Policy Chief, Josep Borrel remarked “Ahead of International Women´s Day, we move from words to action. No matter where it happens, we will combat and eliminate all forms of violence against women.

With today´s decision, we are enhancing efforts to counter sexual and gender-based violence, to ensure that those responsible are fully accountable for their actions, and to combat impunity.”

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The decision to sanctions was taken under Global Human Rights Regime. The regime freezes the fund and financial assets of blacklist entities and persons and debars the EU from making any economic resources available to them. The restrictive measures also include a travel ban.

The Council adopted the global human rights regime in December 2020 to blacklist entities and individuals involved and responsible for genocide, crime against humanity, and other human rights violation and abuses.

The violation and abuses include torture, slavery, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, and detentions.

The Human Rights Sanctions Regime upholds the principles of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, rule of law, human rights, and equality.

The EU is determined to strengthen human rights as a strategic goal of the union and its common foreign and security policy.