UK imposes sanctions against rights abusers | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 08, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:03 AM, July 08, 2020

UK imposes sanctions against rights abusers

Two top Myanmar generals, 25 Russians, 20 Saudis among 49 individuals and organisations targetted

Britain has identified 49 "notorious" individuals and organisations, 25 of them Russian, 20 Saudis and two top Myanmar generals, to be sanctioned under its first post-Brexit targeting of accused human rights violators, prompting immediate anger from Moscow.

Min Aung Hlaing, the commander-in-chief of the Burmese military and his deputy, Soe Win are the two person named in the report for human rights abuses against the Rohingya people and other ethnic minorities.

A 2017 military crackdown in Myanmar drove more than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh. United Nations investigators have said Myanmar's operation included mass killings, gang rapes and widespread arson and was executed with "genocidal intent."

The Russians are listed for their alleged involvement in the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky and the Saudis for suspected roles in the death of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Foreign Office said.

One notable name on the list is Saud al-Qahtani, who it is believed oversaw the team that killed Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Turkey in 2018.

Individuals from North Korea were also included on the list and all those named will have their UK assets frozen and travel bans imposed.

It is the first time Britain has gone it alone and used sanctions to penalise individuals and organisations accused of human rights abuse.

The new measures were announced by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in a statement to the House of Commons.

Raab said: "Today this Government and this House sends a very clear message on behalf of the British people that those with blood on their hands, the thugs of despots, the henchman of dictators will not be free to waltz into this country to buy up property on the King's Road, to do their Christmas shopping in Knightsbridge or frankly to siphon dirty money through British banks or other financial institutions."

Those targeted would be those not just committing human rights abuses but anyone who profited from them, Raab said.

The decision drew a furious reaction from Russia which said it "reserves the right to take retaliatory measures".

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