US imposes sanctions on Ramazan Kadyrov
20 July 2020

The United States has imposed sanctions on the leader of Chechnya, Ramazan Kadyrov as well as his wife and two daughters, designating them under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2020.

A statement issued by the US State Department said this was due to "Kadyrov's involvement in gross violations of human rights in the Chechen Republic. The Department has extensive credible information that Kadyrov is responsible for numerous gross violations of human rights dating back more than a decade, including torture and extrajudicial killings."

The statement added,

Along with many other likeminded nations, the United States has repeatedly raised concerns about reports of Mr. Kadyrov's violations publicly and privately. We have already imposed economic sanctions on Mr. Kadyrov and several of his associates, using multiple authorities. In 2018, the United States and fifteen other nations took the extraordinary step of invoking the OSCE's Moscow Mechanism to create a fact-finding mission into horrific reports of abuses against LGBTI persons, human rights defenders, members of the independent media, and other citizens who ran afoul of Mr. Kadyrov. The Moscow Mechanism rapporteur found that "harassment and persecution, arbitrary or unlawful arrests or detentions, torture, enforced disappearances, and extrajudicial executions" had taken place and that "a climate of impunity" surrounded these events. We are concerned that Mr. Kadyrov is now using the excuse of the coronavirus pandemic to inflict further human rights abuses on the people of the Chechen Republic.

Today's action serves to notify Mr. Kadyrov that his involvement in gross violations of human rights has consequences, both for him and his family, and that the United States is committed to using all the tools at our disposal to ensure accountability for those who engage in this abhorrent behavior.

The United States government has called on other "like minded countries" to adopt similar measures.