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Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act Annual Report

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ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

This notice contains the text of the report required by the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, as submitted by the Secretary of State pursuant to Executive Order 13818.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Benjamin A. Kraut, Email: Krautb@state gov, Phone: (202) 647-9452.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On December 10, 2018, the Secretary of State approved the following report pursuant to Executive Order 13818 (E.O. 13818). E.O. 13818, which builds on and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (Pub. L. 114-328, Title XII, Subtitle F), was issued by the President on December 20, 2017, with an effective date of December 21, 2017. The text of the report follows:

As required by Section 1264 of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act of 2016 (Pub. L. 114-328, Title XII, Subtitle F) (the “Act”), and in accordance with E.O. 13818, issued to implement the Act, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, submits this report to detail the Administration's implementation of the Act in 2018.

In 2018, the United States took significant action under the Global Magnitsky sanctions program (Global Magnitsky). As of December 10, 2018, the United States has designated 101 foreign persons (individuals and entities) under E.O. 13818. This sanctions program, which targets human rights abusers, corrupt actors, and their enablers, represents the best of the United States' values by taking impactful steps to protect and promote human rights and combat corruption around the world. Through the Act and E.O. 13818, the United States has sought to disrupt and deter serious human rights abuse and corruption abroad; promote accountability for those who act with impunity; and protect, promote, and enforce longstanding international norms alongside our partners and allies.

As the President outlined in his National Security Strategy (NSS), liberty, free enterprise, equal justice under the law, and the dignity of every human life are values that represent who we are as a people. Further, the NSS states that we support with our words and actions those who live under oppressive regimes and seek freedom, individual dignity, and the rule of law. Through Global Magnitsky, the Administration is taking action to execute the President's vision as described in the NSS.

Actions taken in 2018 demonstrated the reach, flexibility, and broad scope of Global Magnitsky. The United States responded to an evolving crisis in Nicaragua, promoted accountability for serious human rights abuse constituting ethnic cleansing in Burma, addressed serious human rights abuse and corruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Dominican Republic, Turkey, Cambodia, and Saudi Arabia, and clearly demonstrated the resolve of the Administration to leverage this important tool, when appropriate, to target individuals and entities engaging in specified conduct.

When considering financial sanctions under Global Magnitsky, the United States prioritizes actions that are expected to produce a tangible and significant impact on the sanctioned persons and their affiliates, so as to prompt changes in behavior or disrupt the activities of malign actors. Persons sanctioned pursuant to this authority appear on the Office of Foreign Assets Control's (OFAC) List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List). As a result of these actions, any property or interests in property of the sanctioned persons within or transiting U.S. jurisdiction is blocked. Additionally, U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with blocked persons, including entities 50 percent or more owned by designated persons. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, imposed financial sanctions on the following persons pursuant to Global Magnitsky:

Financial Sanctions Imposed

1. Felix Ramon Bautista Rosario: Bautista was designated on June 12, 2018, for engaging in corrupt acts, including in relation to reconstruction efforts in Haiti. Bautista is a Senator Start Printed Page 67461from the Dominican Republic who has engaged in significant acts of corruption in both the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and who has been publicly accused of money laundering and embezzlement. Bautista has reportedly engaged in bribery in relation to his position as a Senator, and is alleged to have engaged in corruption in Haiti, where he used his connections to win public works contracts to help rebuild Haiti following several natural disasters, including one case where his company was paid over $10 million for work it had not completed. In a related action, OFAC designated five entities in the Dominican Republic that are owned or controlled by Bautista: Constructora Hadom SA, Soluciones Electricas Y Mecanicas Hadom S.R.L., Seymeh Ingenieria SRL, Inmobiliaria Rofi SA, and Constructora Rofi SA.

2. Hing Bun Hieng: Bun Hieng was designated on June 12, 2018, for being the leader of an entity involved in serious human rights abuse. Bun Hieng is the commander of Cambodia's Prime Minister Bodyguard Unit (PMBU), a unit in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces that has engaged in serious acts of human rights abuse against the people of Cambodia. The PMBU has been implicated in multiple attacks on unarmed Cambodians over the span of many years, including in 2013 at Wat Phnom and in 2015 in front of the National Assembly. In the 2015 incident, only three members of the PMBU were sent to jail after they confessed to participating in an attack on opposition lawmakers, and were promoted upon their release. Bun Hieng and the PMBU have been connected to incidents where military force was used to harass gatherings of protesters and the political opposition going back at least to 1997, including an incident where a U.S. citizen received shrapnel wounds.

3. Dan Gertler Affiliated Entities: Dan Gertler was named in the Annex to E.O. 13818 in December 2017, for his role as an international businessman and billionaire who amassed his fortune through hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of opaque and corrupt mining and oil deals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The entities designated on June 15, 2018, for being affiliated with Dan Gertler are as follows: Moku Mines D'or SA, Moku Goldmines AG, Fleurette Energy I B.V., Fleurette Africa Resources I B.V., African Trans International Holdings B.V., Fleurette African Transport B.V., Oriental Iron Company SPRL, Iron Mountain Enterprises Limited, Sanzetta Investments Limited, Almerina Properties Limited, Interlog DRC, Kitoko Food Farm, Karibu Africa Services SA, and Ventora Development Sasu.

4. Francisco Javier Diaz Madriz: Diaz was designated on July 5, 2018, for being responsible for, or the leader of entities involved in, serious human rights abuse in Nicaragua. Diaz is a Commissioner of Nicaragua's National Police (NNP) and has been referred to as the de facto head of, and has directed the day-to-day business of, the NNP. Under Diaz's command, the NNP has engaged in serious human rights abuse against the people of Nicaragua, including extrajudicial killings. In June, masked gunmen accompanied by individuals identified by witnesses as Nicaraguan police reportedly set fire to a family home in Managua, killing six, including two young children. When neighbors attempted to help, the police allegedly shot at them, preventing the would-be rescuers from reaching the family. The Nicaraguan police have approached gang leaders in Nicaragua for support in attacking anti-government protesters and have been accused of indiscriminately firing on and killing peaceful protestors.

5. Fidel Antonio Moreno Briones: Moreno was designated on July 5, 2018, for being responsible for, or the leader of entities involved in, serious human rights abuse in Nicaragua. Moreno serves as the main link between municipal governments and the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), and has also acted as a leader of the Sandinista Youth, the FSLN's youth organization. The Sandinista Youth has been implicated in numerous serious human rights abuses related to the ongoing protests against the Nicaraguan government, including in the beating of protesters in April 2018 and allegedly participating in the June attack that killed a family of six in Managua. Moreno was personally implicated in ordering attacks on protesters as far back as 2013, when elderly and young people who were peacefully protesting reduced retirement pensions, were violently dislodged from their encampment by members of the Sandinista Youth. In 2013, Moreno also orchestrated the use of motorcyclists to violently attack individuals protesting the flawed rollout of a Nicaraguan government program, and in early 2017 recruited others to join a group of motorcyclists to take part in measures to counter anti-government marches. Moreno has been accused of stealing large sums of money from Managua municipal projects, as well as using municipal funds to pay for FSLN party activities.

6. Jose Francisco Lopez Centeno: Lopez was designated on July 5, 2018, for engaging in corrupt activities. Lopez is the Vice President of ALBANISA, the Nicaraguan company that imports and sells Venezuelan petroleum products, and is President of the Nicaraguan state-owned oil company Petronic. Lopez has had access significant funds collected by the government in the form of taxes and fines that he could exploit, including for the personal use of Nicaraguan leaders. When involved in infrastructure projects, Lopez would syphon funds by negotiating personal fees, has positioned numerous individuals throughout the government who have helped him steal millions of dollars on an annual basis, and has used his position to his and his family's benefit by using companies they own to win government contracts. ALBANISA is 49% owned by Petronic, and 51% owned by Venezuela's national oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). Senior officials within the Nicaraguan government and the FSLN have used ALBANISA funds to purchase television and radio stations, hotels, cattle ranches, electricity generation plants, and pharmaceutical laboratories.

7. Abdulhamit Gul: Gul, the Turkish Minister of Justice, was designated on August 1, 2018, for being the leader of an entity that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, serious human rights abuse.

8. Suleyman Soylu: Soylu, the Turkish Minister of Interior, was designated on August 1, 2018, for being the leader of an entity that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, serious human rights abuse.

9. Aung Kyaw Saw: Aug Kyaw Saw was designated on August 17, 2018, for having been the leader of the Bureau of Special Operations (BSO) 3, an entity whose members have engaged in serious human rights abuse during his tenure. As commander of BSO 3, Aung Kyaw Zaw controlled military and border guard police operations in Western, Southern, and Southwestern Commands from 2015 to early 2018. Operations in regions controlled by Western Command, were led by his subordinate Maung Maung Soe. The President sanctioned Soe for widespread human rights abuse on December 20, 2017, including military operations in Rakhine State in and after August 2017. Subordinates under his command played leading roles in a crisis in Rakhine State, which included widespread human rights abuses that killed thousands and drove hundreds of thousands of Rohingya to Bangladesh, a situation the Secretary of State concluded constitutes ethnic cleansing. Start Printed Page 67462

10. Khin Maung Soe: Khin Maung Soe was designated on August 17, 2018, for having been a leader of Military Operations Command (MOC) 15, an entity whose members engaged in serious human rights abuse during his tenure. Members of MOC 15 participated in the Maung Nu massacre on August 27, 2017, and other abuses in Rakhine State. In Maung Nu, soldiers reportedly beat, sexually assaulted, and summarily executed or otherwise killed dozens of Rohingya villagers.

11. Thura San Lwin: Thura San Lwin was designated on August 17, 2018, for having been the leader of the Border Guard Police (BGP), an entity whose members have engaged in serious human rights abuse during his tenure. Thura San Lwin commanded the BGP from October 2016 to October 2017, during which time his subordinates engaged in widespread extrajudicial killings, sexual violence, assault, and other abuses of human rights.

12. Khin Hlaing: Khin Hlaing was designated on August 17, 2018, for leading the 99th Light Infantry Division (LID), a military entity whose members engaged in serious human rights abuse during his tenure. The 99th LID participated in abuses, including in November 2016, when 99th LID soldiers in Mong Ko, Shan State, detained ethnic Kachin and Chinese minority villagers. For 13 days, the villagers were forced to serve as human shields by lying down between rows of fences encircling the 99th LID element's outpost. The villagers were forced to stay lying down, exposed to the elements, gunfire, and grenade attacks while 99th LID soldiers sheltered behind them while fighting with militia forces. The 99th LID also engaged in beatings, killings, forced disappearances, and other serious abuses in Shan State.

13. The Burmese 99th LID: The 99th LID was designated on August 17, 2018, for engaging in serious human rights abuses. The 99th LID participated in abuses in Mong Ko and elsewhere in Shan State detailed above. In 2017, the 99th LID was deployed to Rakhine State and participated in serious human rights abuses alongside the 33rd LID and other security forces. In one operation in Min Gyi Village, hundreds of men, women, and children were reportedly forced to the nearby river bank where the 99th LID opened fire, executing many of the men, and forced women and girls to nearby houses where they were sexually assaulted. A number of these women and children were later stabbed and beaten, with the houses set on fire while they were inside.

14. The Burmese 33rd LID: The 33rd LID was designated on August 17, 2018, for engaging in serious human rights abuse. The 33rd LID participated in abuses in Rakhine State, including the August 27, 2017, operation in Chut Pyin village. This operation included extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances, and sexual violence, as well as firing on fleeing villagers. Hundreds were reportedly killed in this one operation alone. Members of the 33rd LID, along with other security forces, also participated in operations in Inn Din in August and September of 2017. Nearly all of the thousands of Rohingya residing in Inn Din were driven out of the village. Ten Rohingya men and boys were captured, bound, and executed by security forces and militia. Two journalists remain detained for investigating the incident.

15. Saud Al-Qahtani: Saud Al-Qahtani was designated on November 15, 2018, for being responsible for, or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in serious human rights abuse. He is a senior official of the Government of Saudi Arabia who was part of the planning and execution of the operation that led to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2, 2018.

16. Maher Mutreb: Maher Mutreb was designated on November 15, 2018, for being responsible for, or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in serious human rights abuse. He coordinated and executed the operations resulting in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate General in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2, 2018.

17. Salah Tubaigy: Salah Tubaigy was designated on November 15, 2018, for being responsible for, or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in serious human rights abuse. He played a role in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, 2018.

18. Meshal Albostani: Meshal Albostani was designated on November 15, 2018, for being responsible for, or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in serious human rights abuse. He played a role in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, 2018.

19. Naif Alarifi: Naif Alarifi was designated on November 15, 2018, for being responsible for, or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in serious human rights abuse. He played a role in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, 2018.

20. Mohammed Alzahrani: Mohammed Alzahrani was designated on November 15, 2018, for being responsible for, or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in serious human rights abuse. He played a role in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, 2018.

21. Mansour Abahussain: Mansour Abahussain was designated on November 15, 2018, for being responsible for, or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in serious human rights abuse. He played a role in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, 2018.

22. Khalid Alotaibi: Khalid Alotaibi was designated on November 15, 2018, for being responsible for, or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in serious human rights abuse. He played a role in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, 2018.

23. Abdulaziz Alhawsawi: Abdulaziz Alhawsawi was designated on November 15, 2018, for being responsible for, or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in serious human rights abuse. He played a role in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, 2018.

24. Waleed Alsehri: Waleed Alsehri was designated on November 15, 2018, for being responsible for, or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in serious human rights abuse. He played a role in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, 2018.

25. Thaar Alharbi: Thaar Alharbi was designated on November 15, 2018, for being responsible for, or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in serious human rights abuse. He played a role in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, 2018.

26. Fahad Albalawi: Fahad Albalawi was designated on November 15, 2018, for being responsible for, or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in serious human rights abuse. He played a role in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, 2018.

27. Badr Alotaibi: Badr Alotaibi was designated on November 15, 2018, for being responsible for, or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in serious human rights abuse. He played a role in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, 2018.

28. Mustafa Almadani: Mustafa Almadani was designated on November 15, 2018, for being responsible for, or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in serious human rights abuse. He played a role in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, 2018.

29. Saif Alqahtani: Saif Alqahtani was designated on November 15, 2018, for being responsible for, or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in serious human rights abuse. He played a role in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, 2018. Start Printed Page 67463

30. Turki Alsehri: Turki Alsehri was designated on November 15, 2018, for being responsible for, or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in serious human rights abuse. He played a role in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, 2018.

31. Mohammed Alotaibi: Mohammed Alotaibi was designated on November 15, 2018, for being responsible for, or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in serious human rights abuse. Alotaibi played a role in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and, in his capacity as Consul General, oversaw the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul where the killing occurred.

Visa Restrictions Imposed

Although no visa restrictions were imposed under the Act during 2018, persons designated pursuant to E.O. 13818 shall be subject to the visa restrictions articulated in section 2, unless an exception applies. Section 2 provides that the entry of persons designated under section 1 of the order is suspended pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 8693. In addition, the Department of State continues to take action, as appropriate, to impose visa restrictions on those responsible for certain human rights violations and corruption pursuant to other authorities, including Presidential Proclamations 7750 and 8697, and Section 7031(c) of the FY2018 Consolidated Appropriations Act. In addition, section 212(a)(3)(E) of the Immigration and Nationality Act renders aliens ineligible for visas if a consular officer has reason to believe that they participated in acts of genocide, torture or extrajudicial killings. The Department of State also continues to share information on an ongoing basis about the operation of Presidential Proclamation 7750 and section 7031(c) with interested governments.

Termination of Sanctions

The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, terminated financial sanctions on the following persons previously designated for serious human rights abuse:

1. Abdulhamit Gul: On November 2, 2018, the Department of the Treasury terminated sanctions with respect to Abdulhamit Gul.

2. Suleyman Soylu: On November 2, 2018, the Department of the Treasury terminated sanctions with respect to Suleyman Soylu.

Efforts To Encourage Governments of Other Countries To Impose Sanctions Similar to Those Authorized by the Act

In 2018, the Administration undertook an expansive outreach campaign in Europe, Canada, and the United Kingdom to lay the groundwork for a multilateral, trans-Atlantic human rights sanctions regime. After consulting closely with Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, The Netherlands, Belgium, Estonia, Lithuania, and the European Union, the Administration has identified champions, partners, and potential spoilers of the objectives established by Congress within the Act. Subsequent to our outreach, the Foreign Ministers of Canada and the Netherlands, and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom each publicly endorsed the establishment of a human rights sanctions program at the European Union. The United States joins our Canadian, Dutch, and British partners in calling for such a program, and continues to provide both public and private support for this initiative. The Departments of State and Treasury have, over the last year, shared information, coordinated messaging, and provided technical assistance to this end.

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Dated: December 19, 2018.

David Hale,

Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Department of State.

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[FR Doc. 2018-28311 Filed 12-27-18; 8:45 am]

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