Chechen Leader Ramzan Kadyrov Laughs Off US Sanctions

Chechen Leader Ramzan Kadyrov Laughs Off US Sanctions

Chechen Leader Ramzan Kadyrov Laughs Off US Sanctions

The law is named after Sergey Magnitsky, a Russian auditor who died in a pre-trial detention center while under investigation for major tax fraud.

The Treasury Department on Wednesday announced it had sanctioned the head of the Chechen Republic, in addition to four other individuals, for human rights abuses under the Magnitsky Act.

Kadyrov, who won 98 percent of votes in the September 2016 election, has recently faced global condemnation over reports of an anti-gay crackdown in Chechnya.

A 2012 law known as the Magnitsky Act allows the country to withhold visas and freeze financial assets in light of human rights abuses.

The new sanctions also target Mukhtar Hamid Shah, a Pakistani surgeon specializing in kidney transplants who Pakistani police believe is involved in the trafficking of human organs.

Russian officials have decried the law and barred USA citizens from adopting Russian children in response. Kadyrov's response to the accusations was that there were no gay men in Chechnya.

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Past year the Magnitsky Act was expanded to allow the United States to target human rights abusers anywhere, not just in Russian Federation.

"Yesterday, the United States extended the sanctioning legislative act by adding several more Russian citizens, including head of the Chechen Republic [Ramzan Kadyrov], bringing the number of our compatriots, who found themselves under various restrictions announced by Americans, to nearly 200 people".

Magnitsky was a Russian lawyer hired by Hermitage Capital, a hedge fund owned by British citizen William Browder.

The sanctions law became a sore point between the US and Russian Federation after it was signed into law by former President Barack Obama. Donald Trump Jr., the president's son, met with a Russian lawyer working to amend the law in June 2016.

In 2016, the Magnitsky Act was expanded to allow the U.S.to target human rights abusers anywhere, not just in Russian Federation.

It had been unclear whether US President Donald Trump would continue to target people under the law, which now has placed sanctions on 49 Russians.

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