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AFP
July 7, 2020

Russians, Saudis, top UK sanctions list for rights violators

World

AFP
July 7, 2020

LONDON: Britain on Monday identified 49 “notorious” individuals and organisations, 25 of them Russian and 20 Saudis, to be sanctioned under its first post-Brexit targeting of accused human rights violators.

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.

Russia threatened to retaliate after Britain sanctioned a number of Russian officials for their alleged involvement in the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. “The Russian side reserves the right to take retaliatory measures in connection with Britain´s hostile decision,” the Russian embassy in London said in a statement without elaborating.

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. Previously, it has followed European Union and United Nations sanctions regimes. The new measures were announced by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in a statement to the House of Commons. He said the government would now have the “power to impose sanctions on those involved in the very worst human rights abuses right around the world.