Public Designations of Current and Former Foreign Government Officials Due to Involvement in Gross Violations of Human Rights Under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act

On International Human Rights Day, the United States reit­er­ates its com­mit­ment to the pro­mo­tion and pro­tec­tion of human rights glob­al­ly.  Combatting and deter­ring human rights vio­la­tions and abus­es is an impor­tant part of this work, as is pro­mot­ing account­abil­i­ty for the perpetrators.

Today, the Department is pub­licly des­ig­nat­ing two indi­vid­u­als under Section 7031© of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act 2019, as car­ried for­ward by the Continuing Appropriations Act 2020, due to their involve­ment in gross vio­la­tions of human rights.  Section 7031© pro­vides that, in cas­es where the Secretary of State has cred­i­ble infor­ma­tion that offi­cials of for­eign gov­ern­ments have been involved in a gross vio­la­tion of human rights or sig­nif­i­cant cor­rup­tion, those indi­vid­u­als and their imme­di­ate fam­i­ly mem­bers are inel­i­gi­ble for entry into the United States.  The Department has cred­i­ble infor­ma­tion that the fol­low­ing per­sons have been involved in such gross vio­la­tions of human rights:

  • The Department has des­ig­nat­ed Mohammed al Otaibi, for­mer Consul General of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul, Turkey, for his involve­ment in gross vio­la­tions of human rights.  The mur­der of Jamal Khashoggi was a heinous, unac­cept­able crime.  Our action today is anoth­er impor­tant step in respond­ing to Khashoggi’s killing.  Al Otaibi was pre­vi­ous­ly des­ig­nat­ed on November 15, 2018 under Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and imple­ments the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.  The State Department con­tin­ues to urge the Government of Saudi Arabia to con­duct a full, fair, and trans­par­ent tri­al of those respon­si­ble for Mr. Khashoggi’s death, and to hold account­able all those involved in his death.  We will con­tin­ue to seek all rel­e­vant facts, con­sult Congress, and work with oth­er nations to hold account­able those involved in the killing.
  • The Department has des­ig­nat­ed Aslan Iraskhanov, Head of the Ministry of Interior Affairs for the city of Grozny in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation, for his involve­ment in gross vio­la­tions of human rights.  In his pri­or posi­tion as the head of the A.A. Kadyrov police unit, Iraskhanov was cred­i­bly alleged to be respon­si­ble for‎ the sum­ma­ry exe­cu­tion of 27 men.  We note with con­cern the con­tin­ued abus­es and gross vio­la­tions of human rights in Chechnya, which include wide­spread pat­terns of extra­ju­di­cial killings, tor­ture, enforced dis­ap­pear­ances, and arbi­trary deten­tion by gov­ern­ment author­i­ties.  The Russian gov­ern­ment fails to take ade­quate steps to pros­e­cute or pun­ish offi­cials involved in these abus­es and vio­la­tions, fos­ter­ing a cli­mate of impunity.

These des­ig­na­tions under­score our sup­port for inter­na­tion­al human rights, and  pro­mot­ing account­abil­i­ty for gross vio­la­tors of human rights.


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