Washington has sanctioned a number of Russian citizens and entities under the so-called Magnitsky Act, which allows it to impose restrictions on individuals and entities whom it considers to be human rights abusers.
The US has imposed sanctions on Head of Russia’s Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov for alleged human rights violations, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said in a statement.
“Today, the Department of State is publicly designating Ramzan Kadyrov, head of the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation, under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2020”, Pompeo said.
“This designation is due to Kadyrov’s involvement in gross violations of human rights in the Chechen Republic”, the US secretary of state in a release.
Pompeo said that the State Department possesses extensive credible data that Kadyrov is responsible for numerous human rights violations, including torture and extrajudicial killings, dating back more than a decade.
The new sanctions also target the head of the Chechen Republic’s wife, Medni Kadyrova, and his daughters Aishat and Karina (aka Khadizhat) Kadyrova, according to Pompeo.
“We will encourage likeminded countries to take similar measures”, the secretary of state said.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has commented on the matter, saying that “it will be hard to respond reciprocally, but we will figure something out”.
In May 2019, the US Treasury Department announced that it had imposed sanctions on the Terek Special Rapid Response Team along with five individuals, including three Russians.
Kadyrov was first included in the sanctions list in 2017 along with Russian nationals Yulia Mayorova, Andrei Pavlov, Ayub Kataev, and Alexei Sheshenya. The Treasury Department claimed in the release that Kadyrov had personally participated in the torture of a member of the opposition. Kataev, a law enforcement official in Chechnya, was designated by the Treasury over alleged involvement in extrajudicial killings, torture, and human rights violations, as well as abuses against gay men in the republic during the first half of 2017.
In late 2012, the United States adopted the so-called Magnitsky Act, which imposes travel bans and financial sanctions on Russian officials and other individuals believed to have been involved in the death of Sergei Magnitsky, as well as in the case against him and related issues.
In 2015, the US Senate adopted the Global Magnitsky Act, which expands the Russia-specific human rights and corruption sanctions to other countries.