U.S. slaps 5 Russians with sanctions over human rights

Ramzan Kadyrov responds to US sanctions
Ramzan Kadyrov  Instagram

Ramzan Kadyrov responds to US sanctions Credit Ramzan Kadyrov Instagram

The Magnitsky Act is a human rights law that was passed by the US Congress and has been a major source of tension between Washington and Moscow, even before Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 sent bilateral relations spiraling. "We are ready for this, we think this is the right way", she added.

The US and other Western powers, including the European Union, have also sanctioned numerous Russian officials and businesses over Russia's annexation of neighbouring Ukraine's Crimea region in 2014 and its continuing support for rebel groups waging war in Ukraine's east.

"Poor Americans", he said.

The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on five Russians, including the leader of Chechnya, under a US human rights law that has been a major irritant between Washington and Moscow.

U.S. officials accused Kadyrov of overseeing "an administration involved in disappearances and extrajudicial killings", and that "one or more" of his political opponents were killed at his direction.

"Treasury remains committed to holding accountable those involved in the Sergei Magnitsky affair, including those with a role in the criminal conspiracy and fraud scheme that he uncovered", Director of the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control John Smith said in a statement.

Ayub Kataev, Yulia Mayorova, Andrei Pavlov and Alexei Sheshenya were also among those targeted by the sanctions. Now the "Magnitsky list" includes 49 Russians.

A 2012 law known as the Magnitsky Act allows the country to withhold visas and freeze financial assets in light of human rights abuses. The law is part of the Jackson-Vanik amendment that was effective for the USSSR and Russian Federation in 1974-2012. While under investigation, Magnitsky accused a number of Russian officials of corruption. He died in the Matrosskaya Tishina pre-trial detention center in Moscow in 2009.

In addition, the USA accused Ayub Kataev, a prison warden and head of a branch of the Chechen internal affairs ministry, of extrajudicial killing and other human rights violations, including abuse of gay men. It particularly allows the U.S. government to freeze assets and ban visas for officials.

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