US imposes sanctions on Russians for human rights violations

Security talks at the US Mission in Geneva
FILE PHOTO: Russian and U.S. flags are pictured prior to talks between Russian Deputy Secretary of State Sergei Ryabkov and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman at the U.S. Mission in Geneva, Switzerland January 10, 2022. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

March 15, 2022

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on Russians accused of gross human rights abuses and imposed new measures on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, increasing pressure on Moscow and its close allies amid the war in Ukraine.

The US Treasury Department said it is imposing sanctions on four people and an organization accused of playing a role in covering up events surrounding the death of whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky or being linked to human rights abuses against human rights lawyer Oyub Titiev.

The Treasury Ministry’s statement also said it is stepping up its sanctions against Lukashenko and also targeting his wife.

It was the latest US sanctions imposed on Moscow since Russian troops invaded Ukraine nearly three weeks ago in the biggest attack on a European state since World War II. Moscow calls the attack a “special operation”.

“Today’s designations demonstrate that the United States will continue to impose specific and significant consequences on those who engage in corruption or are associated with gross human rights abuses,” said Andrea Gacki, chief of the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control , in the statement.

“We condemn Russia’s attacks on humanitarian corridors in Ukraine and call on Russia to end its unprovoked and brutal war against Ukraine.”

Magnitsky was a Russian lawyer who was arrested in 2008 after alleging that Russian officials were involved in large-scale tax fraud. Magnitsky died in a Moscow prison in 2009 after complaining about ill-treatment.

In 2018, Oyub Titiev, head of the Memorial human rights center in Chechnya, was arrested and charged with possession of illegal drugs. Titiev said police planted the drugs on him during a shakedown. He was sentenced to 4 years in a penal colony.

(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Howard Goller) US imposes sanctions on Russians for human rights violations

Bobby Allyn

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