EU foreign ministers have agreed to sanction four Russian officials over the jailing of opposition leader Alexey Navalny, which is the first listings on the EU’s new Global Human Right’s Sanctions Regime.
Heidi Hautala, Greens/EFA MEP and Vice-President of the Parliament Responsible for Human Rights, comments: “Today, the EU is sending a clear signal to those responsible for human rights abuses around the world: they can be swiftly and specifically targeted with effective sanctions. The Russian government must release Alexey Navalny without delay and free all opposition activists. The swift implementation of the sanctions mechanism, which we have long called for in the European Parliament, shows that the EU is making decisive use of this important new instrument to vigorously counter human rights violations all over the world.
“Today’s four listings should only be the start, more perpetrators of the most serious human rights violations in a variety of countries must quickly follow. Human rights abusers worldwide must be held responsible for their actions, only then will the mechanism establish itself permanently as a powerful tool in the fight for human rights. It is important that the decision-making process for new listings are democratically legitimised through the involvement of the European Parliament.”
Alexander Bastrykin, Head of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov, Head of the National Guard Viktor Zolotov and Alexander Kalashnikov, Head of the Federal Penitentiary Service, have been added to the list for their role in the arbitrary arrest, prosecution and conviction of Alexei Navalny, as well as the suppression of peaceful protests in connection with his unlawful treatment.