On September 8, 2023, the Council of the EU adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2023/1716 and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2023/1715 to impose restrictive measures upon six individuals, including prosecutors and judges, who work for courts established by Russia’s occupying force in the illegally annexed Crimea. The designations were imposed under the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime that subjects designees to assets freeze and travel bans and prohibits EU citizens and companies from making funds available to them.
According to the Council, the six are responsible for committing serious human rights abuses in the Russian Federation and in the territories it occupies for taking part in politically motivated court proceedings of journalist Vladyslav Yesypenko and Crimean Tatar Nariman Dzhelyalov and violating their freedom of opinion and expression. Yesypenko was reportedly sentenced to 6 years in prison for voicing opposition to the war of aggression against Ukraine, while Dzhelyalov has opposed the systematic persecution campaigns that have targeted the Crimean Tatar community and members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses for their religious beliefs. Among the designees are two members of the Russia’s Federal Security Service (“FSB”), one of whom allegedly took part in torturing Yesypenko and the other who allegedly conducted the investigations into the cases against Yesypenko and Dzhelyalov.