EU imposes sanctions on two Russian citizens over “gay purges”

The European Union has imposed sanctions on Chechen Deputy Prime Minister and unofficial guard Kadyrov Abuzayd Vismuradov and former police chief Argun Ayub Katayev over the persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya.

The decision to impose sanctions on Monday was approved by the foreign ministers, later it was published in the Official Journal of the EU — this means that the sanctions have entered into force.

The sanctions were introduced under a new mechanism that punishes human rights violators. Before that, the mechanism was used only once to punish four Russians in connection with the situation around the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The sanctions include visa bans and asset freezes. The sanctions list includes only 11 human rights violators and 4 organizations from China, Russia, Eritrea, North Korea, South Sudan, and Libya.

The  explained that Vismuradov had been the head of the special rapid reaction unit “Terek” since 2012. In this position, he personally supervised the large-scale and systematic persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya. For the same reasons, the sanctions were imposed on Ayub Katayev, the ex-head of the police in the Chechen city of Argun.

Sanctions against four people and one organization from were imposed for human rights violations in Xinjiang Province.

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