December 11, 2020

OFAC designates 14 individuals and 6 entities for Global Magnitsky human rights abuses

On December 10, 2020, also known as International Human Rights Day, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has designated three individuals in Haiti, five individuals in Yemen, and six individuals and six entities in Russia, pursuant to Executive Order 13818, that implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act targeting perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption.  

In Haiti, armed gangs have been attacking civilians, usually with the support of Haitian politicians to repress political dissent. In November 2018 a gang attacked a group of civilians in La Saline, resulting in the death of 71 people, rape of several women, and the destruction of over 400 houses.  OFAC designated three Haitian government officials who planned or participated in the La Saline attack, pursuant to the Global Magnitsky EO, for being foreign persons responsible for or complicit in serious human rights abuses.

In Yemen, various Houthi-controlled security and intelligence agencies such as the National Security Bureau (NSB), the Political Security Organization (PSO), and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) have participated in the detention and torture of perceived political opponents, human rights activists, members of the Baha’i community and others, at the direction of agency leaders since at least 2014.  Five former and current members of these agencies were designated by OFAC pursuant to the Global Magnitsky EO.  One of the five who serves as the Director of the Security and Intelligence Service, a new agency formed after merging the PSO and NSB in 2019, was also designated pursuant to EO 13611 for engaging in activities that threaten the peace and security of Yemen.

Finally, the Head of the Chechen Republic in Russia, and five members of his organization known as the Kadyrovtsy, are being designated pursuant to the Global Magnitsky EO, for participating in the murder of Boris Nemtsov, a political opponent to Russian President Vladimir Putin; the baseless detention of journalists and activists; and the torture and execution of LGBTI population in the Chechen Republic.  OFAC also designated six companies that are owned or controlled by the Kadyrovtsy leader, or provided him with a significant profit. 

As a result of these designations, all US property is blocked, and all transactions and dealings with these individuals and entities are generally prohibited.  In addition, any entity in the US that is owned fifty percent or more by a sanctioned individual is also blocked.

 Department of Treasury Press Release