UK imposes new sanctions regime targeting human rights abusers
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UK imposes new sanctions regime targeting human rights abusers

In a statement to the House of Commons on Monday, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab introduced new sanctions on 49 human rights abusers.

The new global human rights regime provides accountability for individuals and organizations, unlike typical sanctions regimes, which target nations. It aims to protect individuals’ rights. Encompassing both “the right to life,” and “the right not to be subjected to torture or, cruel inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.” It further protects the “right to be free from slavery, not to be held in servitude or required to perform forced or compulsory labour.”

Raab said:

[T]hese sanctions are a forensic tool, they allow us to target perpetrators without punishing the wider people of a country that may be affected. The Regulations will enable us to impose travel bans and asset freezes against those involved in serious human rights violations.

The list includes 25 Russian nationals involved in the death of Sergei Magnitsky. Magnitsky, an auditor, uncovered widespread Russian corruption by a group of Russian tax and police officials. Further, the list of sanctions includes 20 Saudi nationals involved in the 2018 death of Jamal Khashoggi.

Additionally, the UK included two Myanmar generals because of their involvement in violence toward the Rohingya people.

Finally, the UK included two North Korean organizations on the list. The organizations operate gulags that have killed thousands.

The sanctions will come into force on December 31, 2020.