The 25 Russians targeted on Monday include officials from the Interior Ministry, prison doctors and the highest prosecutor in Moscow, Alexander Bastrykin, a close ally of Vladimir Putin.
Bastrykin – who went to college with Putin – is the most prominent figure on a list of 25 Russians. Head of the country’s commission of inquiry, he is accused of failing to investigate the ill-treatment of Sergei Magnitsky, who was beaten to death in 2009 in a Moscow detention center. Bastrykin acted “intentionally or recklessly,” says the foreign ministry.
He and the others on the list will now be subject to UK travel bans and the asset freeze. The inclusion of Bastrykin is likely to anger the Kremlin and follows its designation by the United States in 2017 under a Magnitsky law. The prosecutor has already been accused of threatening to assassinate a journalist and has presided over a multitude of controversial criminal cases.
At the time of his arrest in 2008, Magnitsky was investigating massive tax fraud. The year before, a group of influential Home Office officials seized three companies belonging to Hermitage Capital, a British asset management company. They claimed that businesses were entitled to a state tax refund. About $ 230 million was stolen and laundered through shell companies.
Magnitsky discovered the scam and was imprisoned by the same officials he reported. Those sanctioned on Monday include Dmitry Kratov, who was the chief medical officer of Butyrka Prison, where Magnitsky was detained for part of his time in detention. He was denied medical treatment for pancreatitis and gallstones and died in an isolation cell after being beaten.
The list includes investigators from the Ministry of the Interior Aleksey Anichin and Oleg Silchenko, allegedly complicit in the abuse of Magnitsky. The two senior officials of the investigation committee of the financial crimes department of the ministry are also targeted. Gennady Karlov and Natalya Vonogradova. All are senior officials of the Kremlin.
The government also took action against individuals who allegedly tried to cover up the death of Magnitsky, who happened at the Matrosskaya Tishina detention center. The center doctor, Alexandra Gauss, is appointed, with his boss, Fikret Tagiyevand other personalities from the prison administration. They are accused of rejecting Magnitsky’s increasingly desperate calls for medical help.
In 2013, a Moscow court found Magnitsky guilty of tax evasion, even though he was already dead. The sentence from Russia’s first posthumous trial was read in front of an empty cage. Bill Browder, the managing director of Hermitage Capital, was convicted in absentia at the same time and sentenced to nine years in prison. Amnesty International condemned the proceedings as “deeply sinister”.
Among the other sanctioned figures Pain Boris, who participated in the prosecution of the posthumous case. Another alleged perpetrator is Viktor Grin, Deputy Prosecutor General of Russia. It was Grin who absolved the Interior Ministry officials involved in the wrongdoing fraud. Several judges who sent Magnitsky to prison were appointed on Monday, including Aleksey Krivoruchko and Svetlana ukhnalyova.
It is unclear what, if any, assets of Russians sanctioned in the UK are. With the exception of Bastrykin, most are mid-level public servants. Anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny said Bastrykin had property in the Czech Republic as well as a residence permit, but he is unlikely to set foot in Britain anytime soon.
Six members of the inner sanctum of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, including his former chief counselor, are on a list of kingdom nationals sanctioned by the British government for the horrific murder and dismemberment of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
In a move likely to spark tensions between London and Riyadh, Raab announced that the British assets of 20 Saudi nationals involved in the murder could be seized and that they would be barred from entering the country.
The sanctions and the language used to announce them bring the assassination to the door of the royal court, raising new uncomfortable questions for the powerful heir to the throne, who has repeatedly denied ordering the coup and has since been charged with to have offered officials as sacrifices to divert attention.
In particular, six accused members of the squad sent to Turkey are listed as having “worked in the office of the crown prince”, being “an adviser to the crown prince”, having “worked with the adviser to the crown prince” or being a ” Responsible for the security of the Crown Prince ”.
Prince Mohammed’s most trusted adviser at the time, Saoud al-Qahtani, was listed as the mastermind of the operation, which involved Khashoggi being attracted to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where the squad, led by the medical examiner Salah al-Tubaigy, was waiting for him. Tubaigy is accused of dismembering Khashoggi in an upstairs room, then of leading a clean-up.
Qahtani was whitewashed in December by a Saudi court which sentenced five of the accused in the case to death. Two other men on the sanctions list, the deputy intelligence chief of the kingdom, Ahmed al-Assiri, and Mohammed al-Otaibi, his consul general in Istanbul, was cleared by a Riyadh court for “lack of evidence”. The court concluded that the murder was not planned and attempted to qualify the affected brigade, which flew to Istanbul in two government aircraft, as a rogue unit.
A separate trial opened in Istanbul last week, the same alleged network being tried in absentia.
Qahtani and many other defendants had previously been sanctioned by the United States under the Magnitsky law. In the months following Khashoggi’s disappearance, the CIA said it had assessed that Prince Mohammed had approved the operation. Donald Trump challenged the assessment, offering cautious support to a leader who had been at the center of his steps to bring U.S. policy back to the kingdom after the Obama administration’s linchpin to Iran.
UK decision comes 21 months after state-sponsored assassination likely to forever stain the name of the crown prince, who led a social overhaul of the kingdom that had won applause but at the same time ruthlessly consolidated his power, imprisoning rivals and human rights activists, and forcing dozens of Saudi Arabian business elites to cede assets to the kingdom.
It is understood that the Saudi government made no lobbying attempts in London before the announcement, which had been underway since Britain’s decision to leave the EU. British officials said it had taken time to put in place a mechanism that would pave the way for sanctions against individuals or entities for human rights violations. “If it had existed at the end of 2018, we would have done it at the same time as the Americans,” said an official.
Saudi officials have refused to respond to the announcement. An adviser said the kingdom “would not be happy.” Another said that the UK decision was expected and that bilateral relations would resume after several months. “Britain is selling a lot of military equipment to Riyadh, and that will not change because of this,” said the adviser. “But it may not be the best way to treat your allies. “
Sanctions were imposed on Monday against Min Aung Hlaing, the main military commander of Myanmar who was responsible for the 2017 genocide against the country’s Rohingya Muslim population. The British government has accused him of “serious human rights violations” in Rakhine State. The United States imposed sanctions against him last July.
According to the quote, the Burmese armed forces – the Tatmadaw – participated in “illegal killings, including the systematic burning down of Rohingya houses and buildings”. They were guilty of “massacre, torture, forced labor, systematic rape and other forms of targeted sexual violence and forced labor,” the name said.
Hlaing’s deputy, Soe Win, was also sanctioned. In addition to the human rights violations, Win was “involved in financing the military operations of the Tatmadaw,” the government said. Brutal attacks by military and Buddhist crowds have led more than 700,000 Rohingya to flee across the border from Bangladesh, where they currently live in refugee camps.
Two government entities in North Korea have been identified for their role in the management of a large network of secret prisoner camps. Both the State Security and People’s Security Ministries were punished and frozen. The two offices have been implicated in serious serious human rights violations, the Foreign Ministry said.
They were executed by camp guards and North Korean officials against prisoners. Abuses include “murder, torture and slavery”. The list was not very detailed but appointed a senior official in charge of the prison system as Kim Jong-ho. He admitted that his role had not been confirmed but said that the ministry was responsible for the so-called correctional camps.