The UK Announces Global Human Rights Sanctions

Blog / The UK Announces Global Human Rights Sanctions

In the United Kingdom, The Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020 came into effect on July 6. This regulation is under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018. Foreign Minister Dominic Raab had announced in 2019 that his country would enact Magnitsky's law, which envisions freezing the assets of people responsible for human rights violations after leaving the European Union (Brexit). In the United States of America (USA), the Magnitsky Act, enacted in 2012, envisages the US government to impose sanctions on individuals, companies, or institutions on the grounds of human rights violations or corruption in the world.

What Is The Magnitsky Act?

The name of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Responsibility Act in the USA comes from lawyer Sergey Magnitsky, who was tortured while in custody in Russia in 2009 and found dead in his prison cell. Russia claims that Magnitsky died of a heart attack. Still, some human rights organizations believe the lawyer has been targeted because it exposes tax evasion by senior government officials in the country. After the incident, the USA and European countries demanded that the responsible bureaucrats be punished, arguing that Russia did not take the necessary measures during detention. Accordingly, the law called Magnitsky was accepted in the American Congress in 2012. This law envisaged that Russian authorities, which the US Foreign and Treasury ministries believe to be responsible for serious human rights violations, impose sanctions such as freezing their assets in the USA and banning their entry into the USA. In 2016, the law's scope was expanded and became a Russia-oriented law but gained a global dimension.

The Effects of The Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations

With the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations coming into force, the UK has imposed sanctions on 49 people for the need to violate human rights. The UK sanctions include 25 Russian citizens and 20 Saudis responsible for the murder of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky and the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The UK foreign ministry announced that 49 people were included in the sanction list for now and that more people are expected to be included in the sanction list in the coming months. It was also pointed out that the measures will target individuals and institutions rather than countries. For the first time on sanctions, the UK will implement a policy different from the European Union (EU) for the first time.

What Happened to Jamal Khashoggi?

One of the Middle East's active journalists, Washington Post writer Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, was killed in 2018 in the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul. It was determined that the murder was carried out by a team sent from Saudi Arabia. The Washington Post newspaper wrote that the CIA concluded that it was the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who ordered Khashoggi's killing. Among the people who were sanctioned for their roles in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, "Vice President of Intelligence Ahmed Asir, who was involved in the formation of the assassination team of 15 people", Abdullah al-Kahtani, consultant of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Selman, who was the consultant of the murderer, "Forensic medicine specialist Muhammed Tubaigy and Mustafa Muhammed al-Medeni, who had a direct role in darkening the evidence, were also included.

The UK Announces Global Human Rights Sanctions

The UK Foreign Ministry has announced that sanctions will be imposed on individuals and governments found guilty of corruption in the future.

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