UK announces travel bans and asset freezes for 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.

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