The U.S. Treasury Department on
Wednesday announced that it had imposed sanctions on five Russian and
Chechen individuals, including Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, for
alleged human rights abuses.
According to Reuters,
the department used the Magnitsky Act to freeze Kadyrov's assets and
impose a visa ban.
“We will continue to use the
Magnitsky Act to aggressively target gross violators of human rights
in Russia, including individuals responsible for extrajudicial
killings, torture and other despicable acts,” John Smith, director
of the department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), said in
Kadyrov dismissed the action.
“A sleepless night is waiting for
me,” he wrote on Instagram. “I can be proud that I'm out of
favor with the special services of the USA. In fact, the USA cannot
forgive me for dedicating my whole life to the fight against foreign
terrorists among which there are bastards of America's special
The 2012 law seeks to hold responsible
those who orchestrated or benefited from the 2009 death of Sergei
Magnitsky, a 37-year-old Russian who died in a Russian prison after
he blew the whistle on a $230 million tax fraud scheme. The Kremlin
has denied that it was involved in Magnitsky's death.
In November, the U.S. Senate
unanimously approved a resolution that condemns a crackdown against
sexual minorities in Chechnya. The House in June approved a nearly
According to various reports,
authorities in Chechnya, a semi-autonomous Russian republic, have
rounded up and tortured scores of gay men and men who appear to be
gay since the start of the year.
While Kadyrov has denied the charges –
saying that “we don't have any gays” to persecute – he's also
said that removing them from Chechnya would “purify our blood.”
Ramzan Kadyrov: We don't have any gays.)