EU Imposes First Sanctions for Human Rights Violations
1 April 2021
2018-Max_Planck_Herr_Wahl_1355_black white_Zuschnitt.jpg Thomas Wahl

After the adoption of the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime – also dubbed the “European Magnitsky Act” – in December 2020 (→[T1] ), the EU began imposing the first restrictive measures on individuals in March 2021: On 2 March 2021, sanctions came into effect against four Russians who had allegedly been involved in the arbitrary arrest, prosecution, and sentencing of activist Alexei Navalny and the repression of peaceful protests in connection with his unlawful treatment. On 22 March 2021, the Council imposed further restrictive measures on eleven individuals and four entities for serious human rights violations and abuses in various countries around the world. This included targeted sanctions against Chinese officials for the large-scale arbitrary detention of Uyghurs in China, which has generated a great deal of media coverage. The new mechanism adopted in December 2020 enables the EU to list individuals or entities responsible for serious human rights violations, irrespective of where the violations occurred. The sanctions consist of the following:

  • A travel ban to the EU for listed individuals;
  • Freezing of assets in the EU for listed individuals/entities;
  • A prohibition on making funds or economic resources available to listed individuals and entities.