Human Rights First Applauds UK’s Introduction of New Regime, Sanctions Designations

WASHINGTON – Human Rights First today congratulated the UK government for joining the growing community of states using targeted sanctions to deny perpetrators of significant human rights abuses access to their territories and financial systems.

The praise came in response to UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s announcement of the UK’s Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020, and a corresponding announcement of the UK’s first designations under their new regime against 49 individuals and entities involved in human rights abuses in Myanmar, North Korea, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.

Human Rights First’s Senior Vice President for Policy Rob Berschinski stated:

“Today’s action by the UK government marks a significant step towards greater accountability for the worst abuses of human rights occurring around the world. The effectiveness of sanctions in limiting impunity for bad actors ultimately rests on collaboration and coordination between governments willing to stand together in defense of universal rights. With the introduction of its new sanctions program and its first tranche of designations, the UK has joined the United States and Canada as a leader in this fight.”

The UK’s first tranche of sanctions closely mirrors actions previously undertaken by the United States and Canada and highlights human rights violations for which civil society, including Human Rights First, has actively and vocally advocated accountability, including the murder of Russian whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky, the assassination of Saudi dissident journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi, and the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar.

For over three years, Human Rights First has organized a global coalition of human rights and anti-corruption NGOs that have worked together to bring credible information to the attention of the U.S. government on potential sanctions designees under the Global Magnitsky Act and other U.S. sanctions regimes and has advocated for the expansion of these regimes to other jurisdictions.


Published on July 6, 2020


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