Britain imposes sanctions against 25 Russian top officials

The UK has announced new personal sanctions against 25 Russians accused of human rights violations in connection with the "Magnitsky case", as stated in a document published by the British Government.

The chairman of the Russian Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin, Deputy Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation Viktor Grin, former deputy head of the Russian Interior Ministry Alexei Anichin, judges, investigators, employees of the Russian Interior Ministry came under sanctions. They are banned from entering the UK and conducting any business in the country, both directly and through intermediaries. Their assets in the UK will be frozen.

The sanctions are part of the Magnitsky Amendment to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act, which was passed by the House of Commons in May 2018 and was due to come into force after the UK leaves the EU.

"The inclusion of these individuals and organizations in the list is only the first wave of measures introduced under the new sanctions regime. New sanctions will be announced in the coming months," the Kingdom's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Speaking in the House of Commons of the British Parliament, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Dominic Raab did not rule out that in the future sanctions will be extended to foreign nationals who, according to London, are involved in corruption.

"We will continue to try to expand this sanctions regime, and we are already considering the possibility that corruption could be added to the arsenal of funds available to us," he said.

The sanctions list also includes 20 Saudi nationals whom London considers guilty of murdering journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the consulate in Istanbul in 2018, two Myanmar military commanders who the British side believes are involved in "systematic crimes" against Rohingya people and two North Korean agencies, the Ministry of People's Security and the Ministry of State Security of the DPRK. The latter London accuses of torture, use of slave labor and murder. In total, the document lists 49 people and organizations.

Raab met with Sergei Magnitsky's widow Natalia, his son Nikita, as well as William Browder, the founder of the British investment fund Hermitage Capital, who was convicted in absentia in Russia.

Sergei Magnitsky, who was arrested in November 2008 on charges of tax evasion, died a year later in a detention center. According to the Russian Prosecutor General's Office, a 37-year-old man died of cardiovascular failure. Hermitage Capital claimed that the reason for Magnitsky's persecution was the scheme he uncovered to steal funds through tax refunds.

  Magnitsky Act, Russia, UK