On March 22, 2021, the European Council enacted Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/478 to impose sanctions on eleven individuals and four entities involved in serious human rights violations and abuses in several countries around the world. The restrictions target persons and business engaged in the wrongful detention of Uyghurs in Xinjiang in China, the repression of political opponents in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the extrajudicial execution and disappearance of people in Tarhuna in Libya, the persecution of LGBTI groups and political opponents in Chechnnya in Russia, and the persecution and execution of civilians in South Sudan and Eritrea. A list of names and actions taken by the sanctioned parties can be found in the Official Journal.
The new regulations, enacted under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime, ban all sanctioned persons and entities from entering and traveling through EU territory and freeze all assets under EU control. EU citizens and companies are also prohibited from, directly or indirectly, making funds available to the sanctioned parties.
It is important to note that EU sanctions imposed for the wrongful detentions in China are part of a collaborative effort with the UK, Canada, and the US to address human rights abuses against the Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region.