United States: Trump Administration Announces Sanctions Pursuant To The Global Magnitsky Act

Last Updated: December 28 2017
Article by Gwendolyn Wilber Jaramillo

On December 21, 2017, the Trump Administration released a list of foreign nationals it has identified to be sanctioned in accordance with the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act of 2016.In December 2016, we issued a client alert providing an overview of the legislation as it was being passed by Congress.

Based on the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 – which authorized imposition of sanctions on Russian nationals who grossly violate human rights or engage in massive corruption – the Global Magnitsky Act greatly expands the aperture of U.S. sanctions law to apply penalties to any foreign national in any country. With passage of the Act, the Department of Treasury and the Department of State gained a potentially powerful tool to help uproot corruption and human rights abuses in regions of the world where such support is much needed.

Under the terms of the Act, the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor ("DRL") is given authority to determine who is placed on the sanctions list, which will be implemented by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Asset Control ("OFAC").In making these determinations, the Trump Administration is required to consider "credible information obtained by other countries and nongovernmental organizations that monitor violations of human rights" as well as information provided by the committees of Congress with direct jurisdiction over such matters. Ultimately, however, it is within the President's discretion to impose sanctions, or not, even on individuals who may be widely condemned in the human rights community.

The Sanctions List

Section 1264(a) of the Global Magnitsky Act requires the President, after considering DRL's sanctions recommendations, to submit annually an implementation report to Congress that includes a list of foreign persons who will be sanctioned due to their credible involvement in a systemic pattern of human rights violations or acts of corruption.

The list, announced via Executive Order issued December 20, includes a number of foreign national individuals and their affiliated entities that are now subject to U.S. economic sanctions pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Act. Under the Executive Order, OFAC imposed sanctions on 14 individuals for direct complicity in massive corruption and gross violations of human rights. The Executive Order also imposes sanctions on an additional 39 individuals and entities that are affiliated with the 14 foreign nationals.

Some of the foreign nationals placed on the sanctions list include:

  • Yahya Jammeh, the President of The Gambia from 1994 until he stepped down in January of 2017. Jammeh is believed to have created and employed a terror squad called the Junglers, who intimidated, interrogated, tortured, and killed individuals deemed a threat to Jammeh's political agenda.
  • Dan Gertler, an international businessman and billionaire whom the State Department concluded has amassed his fortune through hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of corrupt mining and oil deals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.Gertler used his close relationship with DRC President Joseph Kabila to act as a middleman for mining asset sales in the country.As a result, between 2010 and 2012 alone, the DRC reportedly lost over $1.36 billion in revenues from the underpricing of mining assets that were sold to offshore companies linked to Gertler.
  • Maung Maung Soe, former chief of the Burmese Army's Western Command, who has been accused of overseeing military operations that directly targeted Rohingya civilians in Burma's Rakhine State.Among some of the most egregious examples, witnesses in August 2017 described mass killings, arson attacks, and rapes committed by the Burmese Army and Burmese Border Guard Police, all then under Maung Maung Soe's command in northern Rakhine State.
  • Gulnara Karimova, daughter of former Uzbekistan leader Islam Karimov. Karimova is believed to have headed an organized crime syndicate within Uzbekistan that leveraged state actors to expropriate businesses, monopolize markets, solicit bribes, and administer extortion rackets.According to the Trump Administration, "under Karimova's corrupt activities in the telecom sector alone, Uzbeks paid some of the highest rates in the world for cellular service."
  • Julio Antonio Juarez Ramirez, a Guatemalan Congressman, accused of ordering an attack in which two journalists were killed.
  • Artem Chayka, the son of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation.The Trump Administration posits that Chayka has manipulated his father's position to unfairly award his subordinates state-owned assets and contracts and put pressure on business competitors.
  • Gao Yan, the Director of the Beijing Public Security Bureau Chaoyang Branch, accused of ordering the incarceration and torture of a prominent human rights activist who eventually died of her injuries.

The remaining seven individuals are: Roberto Jose Rivas Reyes, President of Nicaragua's Supreme Electoral Council; Slobodan Tesic, one of the biggest arms dealers in the Balkans; Benjamin Bol Mel, President of ABMC Thai-South Sudan Construction Company Limited and a former Chairman of the South Sudan Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture; Mukhtar Hamid Shah, a Pakistani transplant surgeon and alleged organ trafficker; Angel Rondon Rijo, a politically connected businessman and lobbyist in the Dominican Republic; Sergey Kusiuk, former commander of an elite Ukrainian police unit – the Berkut; and Yankuba Badjie, the Director General of The Gambia's National Intelligence Agency.

Pursuant to the sanctions, the individuals and entities will be placed on OFAC's Specially Designated National, or SDN list, and all of their property, and interests in property, that come within U.S. jurisdiction are blocked. U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with the sanctioned parties. In addition, any entity owned in the aggregate, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons is itself considered to be a blocked person subject to the same sanctions.

Next Steps

Human rights advocates and the authors of the Global Magnitsky Act have been closely watching the measure's implementation process in light of the change in the U.S. administration and the changing articulation of foreign policy priorities by President Trump and his Cabinet members.

Although the Act is still in the nascent phase of implementation, the Trump Administration's first statutorily-required report (released in April 2017) noted that the Administration, in accordance with Section 1264(a)(6) of the Act, has been encouraging U.S. allies – such as the European Union, United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, and Australia – to impose a similar sanctions regime on human rights offenders. Indeed, several countries in Europe have passed Global Magnitsky-like measures and the Government of Canada recently passed its own sanctions counterpart.

This week's action list marks the second, substantive phase of implementation. The promulgation of this list and the imposition of sanctions will help allay the concerns of some human rights proponents that the Trump Administration would reject all of DRL's sanctions recommendations, significantly delay implementation, or use procedural loopholes (such as national security or other emergency exceptions) to circumvent its implementation obligations.

Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and John McCain (R-AZ), who authored the Act, released a statement welcoming the issuance of the sanctions list. In particular, the Senators thanked career professionals at the State and Treasury Departments for their efforts in compiling the sanctions list. The lawmakers also singled out for praise the sanctioning of Artem Chayka and Maung Maung Soe. At the same time, Cardin and McCain said they would like to see "a more geographically diverse and rigorous list."

The majority of foreign nationals on the sanctions list are former government officials, private citizens, or have a familial connection to a senior-level official. Some advocates have suggested that the sanctions could have the greatest impact if they focused on senior-level officials who are currently in government, and therefore most directly responsible for protecting citizens' human rights and enforcing anti-corruption efforts within a country.

As we noted in our previous client alert, implementation is everything.In the coming years, there will be pressure from human rights proponents to ensure that the Trump Administration aggressively promotes the Global Magnitsky Act in the United States' bilateral engagement with allies, and makes efforts to promulgate sanctions lists that are as fulsome, consistent, and comprehensive across regions as possible.

To view Foley Hoag's Corporate Social Responsibility Blog please click here

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Events from this Firm
12 Oct 2018, Other, Boston, United States

The New England Electricity Restructuring Roundtable has been meeting bimonthly since 1995 to discuss current topics related to important changes in the electric power industry in Massachusetts and throughout New England.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions