OFAC adds Russians, Chechen group to Magnitsky sanctions list

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control Thursday imposed sanctions on five individuals, including at least three Russians, and on a Chechen group for extra-judicial killings and torturing LGBT individuals.

The sanctioned group is the Terek Special Rapid Response Team in the republic of Chechnya.

The five individuals named Thursday were implicated in the deaths of whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky and Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, according to the Treasury Department.

With Thursday’s action, the United States has now sanctioned 55 individuals and groups under the 2012 Magnitsky Act.

The law is named after the 37-year-old Russian lawyer who was tortured and killed in a Moscow prison in 2009 after exposing a $230 million tax fraud.

Sanctions under the Magnitsky Act include visa bans and asset freezes on officials and others linked to Magnitsky’s death or to other human rights abuses.

Among the individuals named Thursday are Elena Anatolievna Trikulya and Gennady Vyacheslavovich Karlov, both members of the Russian state’s Investigative Committee, for allegedly “having participated in efforts to conceal the legal liability for the detention, abuse, or death of Sergei Magnitsky.”

The Terek Special Rapid Response Team sanctioned Thursday allegedly detained and tortured persons whom team members believed to be LGBTI. Some of the individuals were lured to meetings using social media, the Treasury Department said.

The commander of the team in the Chechen Republic, Abuzayed Vismuradov, was sanctioned “for being responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights committed against individuals seeking to expose illegal activity carried out by officials of the Government of the Russian Federation.”

OFAC Thursday also designated Ruslan Geremeyev, a Russian and former deputy commander of the Sever Battalion in Chechnya, as “the possible organizer” of Boris Nemtsov’s 2015 murder.

Nemtsov, 55, was an opposition leader and anti-corruption advocate who was shot four times in the back just steps from the Kremlin.

The FCPA Blog | May 17, 2019