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

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

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

The  were introduced under a new EU 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 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 EU 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 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 China were imposed for human rights violations in Xinjiang Province.

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