USA: Treasury Sanctions Serious Human Rights Abusers on International Human Rights Day.

WASHINGTON– Today, on International Human Rights Day, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is targeting perpetrators of serious human rights abuse across several countries in the Western Hemisphere, Middle East, and Eurasia. Today’s actions are taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, and targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption. OFAC is also concurrently designating one Yemeni individual pursuant to E.O. 13611, “Blocking Property of Persons Threatening the Peace, Security, or Stability of Yemen.”

“As we recognize International Human Rights Day, the United States stands with innocent civilians around the globe who have been victims of violence and oppression,” said Deputy Secretary Justin G. Muzinich. “The United States also welcomes the growing ability of our partners to join us in targeting human rights abuses. Over the last few months, the United Kingdom and the European Union have each adopted new sanctions authorities, creating a powerful, global framework for targeting human rights abuses.”

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SERIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE IN RUSSIA.

Ramzan Kadyrov (Kadyrov), the Head of the Chechen Republic, is being designated today pursuant to the Global Magnitsky E.O. for being a foreign person who is a leader of an organization, the Kadyrovtsy, that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, serious human rights abuses. Kadyrov and the forces he commands, commonly known as the Kadyrovtsy, are implicated in the murder of Boris Nemtsov, an opposition politician to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and other serious violations of human rights. On December 20, 2017, OFAC designated Kadyrov pursuant to the Russia Magnitsky Act for being responsible for extrajudicial killing, torture, or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights committed against individuals seeking to expose illegal activity carried out by officials of the Government of the Russian Federation, or to obtain, exercise, defend, or promote internationally recognized human rights and freedoms, such as the freedoms of religion, expression, association, and assembly, and the rights to a fair trial and democratic elections, in the Russian Federation. 

Following Kadyrov’s previous designation, the Kadyrovtsy, under the guidance of Kadyrov, continued these egregious activities, to include kidnapping, torturing, and killing members of the LGBTI population in the Chechen Republic. The Kadyrovtsy are accused of illegal abductions, torture, extrajudicial executions, and other abuses, including the detention of journalists and activists. 

In addition to Kadyrov, OFAC is designating the following six companies registered in Russia that continue to provide Kadyrov pride and significant profit:

  • Absolute Championship Akhmat for being owned or controlled by Kadyrov.
  • Akhmat MMA for being owned or controlled by Kadyrov.
  • FC Akhmat Grozny for being owned or controlled by Kadyrov.
  • Akhmat Kadyrov Foundation for being owned or controlled by Kadyrov.
  • Megastroyinvest, OOO for being owned or controlled by the Akhmat Kadyrov Foundation.
  • Chechen Mineral Waters Ltd. for being owned or controlled by the Akhmat Kadyrov Foundation.

OFAC is also designating five individuals who are prominent members in Kadyrov’s network:

  • Vakhit Usmayev, the Deputy Prime Minister of Chechnya, has acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Kadyrov.
  • Timur Dugazaev, a representative of Kadyrov in Europe, has acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Kadyrov.
  • Ziyad Sabsabi, a representative of Kadyrov, has acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Kadyrov.
  • Daniil Vasilievich Martynov, a personal security advisor for Kadyrov, has acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Kadyrov.
  • Satish Seemar, a horse trainer for Kadyrov, has materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial material, or technological support for, or goods and services to or in support of, Kadyrov.

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the persons above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or otherwise exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons. The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

GLOBAL MAGNITSKY

Building upon the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, the President signed E.O. 13818 on December 20, 2017, in which the President found that the prevalence of human rights abuse and corruption that have their source, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, had reached such scope and gravity that it threatens the stability of international political and economic systems. Human rights abuse and corruption undermine the values that form an essential foundation of stable, secure, and functioning societies; have devastating impacts on individuals; weaken democratic institutions; degrade the rule of law; perpetuate violent conflicts; facilitate the activities of dangerous persons; and undermine economic markets. The United States seeks to impose tangible and significant consequences on those who commit serious human rights abuse or engage in corruption, as well as to protect the financial system of the United States from abuse by these same persons. 

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UK announces travel bans and asset freezes for human rights violators.

UK announces travel bans and asset freezes for 11 Russian, Venezuelan, Gambian and Pakistani human rights violators.
  • the UK is placing sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, on 11 politicians, officials and others responsible for gross human rights violations in Russia, Venezuela, The Gambia and Pakistan
  • UK is acting alongside the US who are also announcing new designations under their human rights regime today
  • on International Human Rights Day, the Foreign Secretary warns those who commit human rights violations that the UK will not hesitate to impose further sanctions

Today (10 December) the UK has announced a third tranche of sanctions under its Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime against 11 individuals and one entity from Russia, Venezuela, The Gambia and Pakistan for egregious human rights violations, including torture and murder.

These sanctions, announced on International Human Rights Day, are part of the UK’s global human rights regime which gives the UK powers to stop those involved in serious human rights abuses and violations from entering the country, channelling money through UK banks, or profiting from our economy.

This is the third time the UK has sanctioned people or entities for human rights violations and abuses under a UK-only regime, with the first in July and the second in September 2020.

This is also the second time the UK has worked alongside allies to announce sanctions, with the US also announcing their own measures today. In total, the US and the UK designated 31 actors today for their involvement in serious human rights abuses.

  • in Russia, the UK is imposing sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, against three individuals and the Terek Special Rapid Response Unit responsible for torture and other human rights violations against LGBT people in Chechnya
  • in Venezuela, sanctions will be imposed on senior security figures responsible for human rights violations in Maduro’s illegitimate regime. These designations are a timely reminder of the crisis in Venezuela, coming as they do so soon after the illegitimate Maduro regime organised deeply flawed National Assembly elections on 6 December
  • the former President of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, and Ahmad Anwar Khan, the former Senior Superintendent of Police in Malir District, Pakistan are also facing sanctions for historic human rights violations including extrajudicial killings of protestors and minority groups

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:

Today’s sanctions send a clear message to human rights violators that the UK will hold them to account.

The UK and our allies are shining a light on the severe and systematic human rights violations perpetrated by those sanctioned today. Global Britain will stand up for democracy, human rights and the rule of law as a force for good in the world.

Underlining the UK’s position as a global force for good, this regime showcases commitment to the rules-based international system and to standing up for victims of human rights violations and abuses around the world.

Further Information

The full list of designations:

Venezuela

  1. Rafael Bastardo Commander of FAES (Special Action Forces) until 2019
  2. Remigio Ceballos Ichaso: Head of the Strategic Command Operations of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (CEOFANB)
  3. Fabio Zavarse Pabon: Commander of the National Guard (GNB)

Russian Federation

  1. Magomed Daudov: The Spokesperson/Chairperson of the Parliament of the Chechen Republic
  2. Aiub Kataev: Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation in Argun
  3. Apti Alaudinov: Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of the Chechen Republic and Major General of the Police
  4. Terek Special Rapid Response Unit

The Gambia

  1. Yahya Abdul Aziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh: Former President of The Gambia
  2. Yankuba Badjie: Former Director General of the Gambian National Intelligence Agency (NIA)
  3. Zineb Jammeh: Former First Lady of The Gambia and wife of Yahya Jammeh

Pakistan

  1. Anwar Ahmad Khan: Former Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) in Malir District, Karachi

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