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Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei

Title: Prosecutor General of Iran

Sanctions: European Union (April 12, 2011) & United States (September 29, 2010)

On September 29, 2010, the United States designated Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei for his involvement in serious human rights abuses, as documented by the U.S. Treasury.[1]

In April 2011, the European Union included Mohseni-Ejei among a number of individuals subject to sanctions for human rights violations. [2]

Prior to Mohseni-Ejei’s appointment as Prosecutor General of Iran, he was Iran’s intelligence minister, although President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reportedly fired him in July 2009, according to The Washington Times.[3]

As intelligence minister during and after Iran’s June 2009 elections, Ejei commanded intelligence officers responsible for extracting false confessions from politicians, journalists, activists and dissidents through the use of torture, abuse, blackmail, and threats towards family members, according to a report by the European Union. [4]

According to Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, during the Ashura protests in December 2009, Mohseni-Ejei, then the Iranian government’s chief prosecutor, reportedly declared that “‘[f]rom now on, we will show no mercy’ to protesters or their families.” [5] During the Ashura protests, Mohseni-Ejei stated that “the foreigners who were arrested would be prosecuted as Moharebeh (enemies of God) and promptly executed,” according to a report by Iran Human Rights Documentation Center. [6]

Foreign Policy reported that “Mohseni-Ejei [was] one of the most influential clerics in Iran’s security establishment.”[7]

During his time as Special Court chief, a position he held before he became intelligence minister, he imprisoned Tehran’s mayor for corruption, but “reportedly ignored malfeasances committed by those with whom he is financially involved or politically sympathetic,” according to Global Security.org. [8]

In 2009, Mohseni-Ejei stated that “The confessions obtained from those arrested could be made public, should the Judiciary decide to air their remarks,” although none of these Iranians were given access to lawyers, according to a Human Rights Watch report. [9]

Mohseni-Ejei said in mid-2011 that “if political prisoners [from protests] did not ‘recant’ they would not be permitted any of the rights normally given to prisoners such as temporary leave and family visits,” according to an Iranian news source.[10]


[1]United States Department of the Treasury, Fact Sheet, “Fact Sheet: New Executive Order Targeting Iranian Officials Responsible For Or Complicit In Serious Human Rights Abuses,” September 29, 2010. (http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/tg877.aspx)

[2]Council of the European Union, “Council Regulation (EU) No 359/2011 of 12 April 2011 Concerning Restrictive Measures Directed Against Certain Persons, Entities, and Bodies in View of the Situation in Iran,” Official Journal of the European Union, April 12, 2011. p. 100/8.

[3]Iason Athanasiadis, “Power Struggle Hits Iran Intelligence Agency,” The Washington Times, August 6, 2009. (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/06/power-clash-at-iran-agency/?page=all#pagebreak)

[4]Council of the European Union, “Council Regulation (EU) No 359/2011 of 12 April 2011 Concerning Restrictive Measures Directed Against Certain Persons, Entities, and Bodies in View of the Situation in Iran,” Official Journal of the European Union, April 12, 2011. p. 100/8.

[5]“Iran: Treatment by Iranian Authorities of Relatives of Persons Who Have Left Iran and Claimed Refugee Status, Including Former Members of the Bureau of National Security and Intelligence (SAVAK), of a Fedayeen Organization, or Opposition Protestors,” Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, January 4, 2010. (http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,IRBC,,IRN,,4b7cee7fc,0.html)

[6]“A Year Later: Suppression Continues in Iran,” Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, March 2, 2011.(http://www.iranhrdc.org/english/publications/reports/3162-a-year-later-suppression-continues-in-iran.html?p=23)

[7]Joshua Keating, “Iran’s Worst Clerics,” Foreign Policy, June 18, 2009. (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/06/18/irans_worst_clerics?page=0,4)

[8]“Ministry of Intelligence and Security VEVAK – Iran Intelligence Agencies,” GlobalSecurity.org, February 19, 2006. (http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/world/iran/vevak.htm)

[9]“Iran: Stop ‘Framing’ Government Critics,” Human Rights Watch, July 21, 2009. (http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/07/21/iran-stop-framing-government-critics)

[10]“Iranian Political Prisoners Transferred To Dangerous Prison,” Payvand Iran News, April 29, 2011.(http://www.payvand.com/news/11/apr/1276.html)