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Ali Reza Akbarshahi

Title: Commander of Tehran Police

Sanctions: European Union (October 10, 2011)

Ali Reza Akbarshahi is Commander of the Tehran Police. The European Union identified him as a human rights violator for abuses perpetrated by the Tehran police in the aftermath of the 2009 elections.[1] As Commander of the Tehran Police, Ali Reza Akbarshahi oversaw, what Human Rights Watch, described as “serious human rights abuses that include extra-judicial killings, violations of the rights to freedom of assembly and expression, and the prohibition of torture, not to mention arbitrary arrest and detention.”[2]

The New York Times reported that the Tehran police were responsible for killing 10 protestors, including a nephew of presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi in December 2010.[3] The United Kingdom Embassy in Tehran notes that Akbarshahi’s forces were also responsible for a raid on a student dormitory at Tehran University in June 2009, which injured over 100 students.[4] Human Rights Watch, using complied witness testimony, claims the Tehran police force abused prisoners in their custody during the 2009 protests, including 40 protestors killed.[5]


[1]Council of the European Union, “Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1002/2011 of 10 October 2011 Implementing Article 12(1) of Regulation (EU) No 359/2011 Concerning Restrictive Measures Directed Against Certain Persons, Entities and Bodies in View of the Situation in Iran,” Official Journal of the European Union, October 10, 2011, page 2. (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:267:0001:0006:EN:PDF)

[2]“The Islamic Republic at 31: Post-Election Abuses Show Serious Human Rights Crisis,” Human Rights Watch, February 2010, page 1.(http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/02/11/islamic-republic-31-0)

[3] Robert Worth, “Police Are Said to Have Killed 10 in Iran Protests,” The New York Times, December 27, 2009. (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/28/world/middleeast/28iran.html?scp=5&sq=%22Tehran%20Police%22&st=cse)

[4]“Alirez Akbarshani,” British Embassy Tehran Website, accessed October 17, 2011. (http://ukiniran.fco.gov.uk/en/about-us/working-with-iran/human-rights-iran/eu-sanctions-hr-violators/alireza-akbarshahi)

[5]“The Islamic Republic at 31: Post-Election Abuses Show Serious Human Rights Crisis,” Human Rights Watch, February 2010, page 5. (http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/02/11/islamic-republic-31-0)