EU puts sanctions on Iranian human rights violators

LUXEMBOURG - European Union governments imposed punitive measures on Tuesday on more than 30 Iranian officials blamed for human rights abuses in Iran, broadening the sanctions program against Tehran. The new steps include travel restrictions and asset freezes -- limits the EU has already imposed on people closely involved in Tehran's nuclear program.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague, attending a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Tuesday, said Iran's human rights record was "appalling".
"Iran seems to believe that with all the change happening in the Middle East they can get away with an even worse human rights situation in their country," he told reporters. "They have imprisoned opposition leaders, there is detention of more journalists than in any other country in the world, and excessive use of the death penalty."
In its annual report on global human rights last week, the US State Department said Iran had executed about 312 people in 2010, many after trials conducted in secret.
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