‘Extra-judicial killings’: US Treasury blacklists Chechnya’s strongman

Ramzan Kadyrov, photo TASS

On December 21, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated five individuals pursuant to the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 (the Magnitsky Act).

OFAC designated Ramzan Kadyrov 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 Russia.

“As the head of the Chechen Republic, Kadyrov oversees an administration involved in disappearances and extra-judicial killings. One of Kadyrov’s political opponents was believed to have been murdered at Kadyrov’s direction, after making allegations of torture and ill-treatment taking place in Chechnya, including alleged torture carried out by Kadyrov personally,” the statement .

The agency failed to mention the name of the opponent.

Russian citizens Alexei Sheshenya, Yulia Mayorova, Andrei Pavlov and Ayub Kataev have also been put on the list.

The Magnitsky Act targets individuals who are responsible for or participated in efforts to conceal the legal liability for, or financially benefitted from, the detention, abuse, or death of Sergei Magnitsky, or were involved in the criminal conspiracy uncovered by Magnitsky. It also targets those responsible for gross violations of internationally recognized human rights committed against individuals seeking to either expose illegal activity by Russian government officials or obtain, exercise, defend, or promote internationally recognized human rights and freedoms in Russia.

Any property or interests in property of those designated within U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and transactions by U.S. persons involving the designated persons are generally prohibited.

“We will continue to use the Magnitsky Act to aggressively target gross violators of human rights in Russia, including individuals responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture, and other despicable acts,” OFAC Director John Smith said.

Today’s action brings to 49 the total number of individuals designated by OFAC pursuant to the Magnitsky Act.

belsat.eu, via treasury.gov

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