[Federal Register Volume 89, Number 37 (Friday, February 23, 2024)]

[Notices]

[Pages 13795-13799]

From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

[FR Doc No: 2024-03532]

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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

[Public Notice: 12335]

Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act Annual Report

ACTION: Notice.

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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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrew Self, Email: SelfAH@state.gov,

Phone: (202) 412 3586.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On January 25, 2024, the Under Secretary of

State for Political Affairs approved the following report pursuant to

the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (Pub. L. 114-328,

title XII, subtitle F) (``the Act''), which is implemented and built

upon by Executive Order 13818 of December 20, 2017, ``Executive Order

Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse

or Corruption'' (E.O. 13818). The text of the report follows:

Pursuant to section 1264 of the Act, and in accordance with E.O.

13818, 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 the 2023 reporting period.

In 2023, the United States took significant action under the Global

Magnitsky sanctions program (``Global Magnitsky''), sanctioning 78

foreign persons over the course of the year. As of December 2023, the

United States has sanctioned over 650 foreign persons (individuals and

entities) pursuant to E.O. 13818 since 2017. This sanctions program,

which targets those connected to serious human rights abuse, corrupt

actors, and their enablers, represents the best of the United States'

values and enduring commitment to promoting respect for human rights

and combatting corruption around the world. Through Global Magnitsky,

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 maintain U.S. global leadership on anti-corruption

and human rights promotion in coordination with U.S. partners, allies,

and civil society where appropriate. The Administration can and will

continue to utilize this tool to promote respect for human rights and

the rule of law globally.

As the President outlined in the National Security Strategy (NSS),

the United States will stand with our allies and partners to combat new

threats confronting our democracies. The Administration will take

special aim at countering corruption, which corrodes democracy from the

inside, erodes government stability, impedes economic development, and

is increasingly weaponized by authoritarian states to undermine

democratic institutions. The United States also seeks to promote

respect for human rights; address discrimination, inequity, and

marginalization in all its forms; and stand up for democracy, the rule

of law, and human dignity. On all these issues, the United States works

to forge a common approach with likeminded countries. Through

implementation of the Global Magnitsky sanctions program, the

Administration is taking action to execute the President's vision as

described in the NSS.

Global Magnitsky, paired with cooperation with likeminded

international partners, directly addresses the objectives outlined in

the 2021 United States Strategy on Countering Corruption (``the

strategy''), which underscores the fight against corruption as a

national security priority. The strategy directs U.S. government action

to: strengthen efforts to hold accountable corrupt individuals and

their facilitators, including by, where appropriate, identifying,

freezing, and recovering stolen assets through sanctions or other

authorities; bolster the capacity of domestic and international

institutions and multilateral bodies focused on establishing global

anti-corruption norms; and work with international partners to

counteract strategic corruption by foreign leaders, foreign state-owned

or affiliated enterprises, and other foreign actors and their domestic

collaborators.

The strategy spotlights the Global Magnitsky sanctions program

among the U.S. Government's foreign policy tools for promoting global

accountability for serious human rights abuse and corruption through

the imposition of financial sanctions on foreign persons.

Actions taken in 2023 continue to demonstrate the reach,

flexibility, and broad scope of Global Magnitsky. The United States

responded to serious human rights abuse and corruption

[[Page 13796]]

globally, deterring and disrupting some of the most egregious behavior

by foreign actors. Actions taken in 2023 targeted, among others,

corrupt politicians undermining the rule of law in Paraguay, Guatemala,

Bulgaria, and Haiti and serious human rights abuse involving Russia's

treatment of human rights defender, prominent opposition leader,

author, and historian Vladimir Kara-Murza as well as abductions and

sexual violence committed by Haitian gangs and their leaders. Actions

against Paraguayan and former Afghan government officials highlighted

the U.S. Government's ongoing effort to disrupt pervasive corruption

and illicit financial networks in their most entrenched forms and at

the highest level of public office.

When considering financial sanctions under Global Magnitsky, the

United States prioritizes actions that are expected to produce a

tangible and significant impact on corrupt actors, serious human rights

abusers, and their affiliates, and prompt changes in behavior or

disrupt the activities of malign actors. Sanctions under Global

Magnitsky aim to target systemic corruption and human rights abuse,

including the networks that engage in, facilitate, or perpetuate

sustained patterns of such illicit behavior. Persons sanctioned

pursuant to this authority appear on the Office of Foreign Assets

Control's (OFAC's) List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked

Persons (SDN List). As a result of these actions, all property and

interests in property of the sanctioned persons that are in the United

States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and

must be reported to OFAC. Unless authorized by a general or specific

license issued by OFAC or otherwise exempt, OFAC's regulations

generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or

transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in

property of designated or otherwise blocked persons. The prohibitions

include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or

services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person or the

receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services

from any such person.

In 2023, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the

Secretary of State and the Attorney General, imposed economic sanctions

on the following 78 foreign persons (individuals and entities) pursuant

to E.O. 13818:

Afghanistan

Fariduddin Mahmood: Mahmood was designated on December 8,

2023, for being a foreign person who is responsible for, or complicit

in--or has directly or indirectly engaged in--serious human rights

abuses involving the restriction of access to all secondary education

for women and girls in Afghanistan, solely on the basis of gender,

which interferes with their enjoyment of equal protection. Mahmood is a

member of the Taliban's so-called ``cabinet'' that made decisions to

close education centers and schools to women and girls after the sixth

grade. He serves as the so-called ``head of the Afghanistan Academy of

Sciences'' and supported the education-related bans on women and girls.

Khalid Hanafi: Hanafi was designated on December 8, 2023,

for being a foreign person who is, or has been, a leader or official of

an entity, including any government entity, that has engaged in, or

whose members have engaged in, serious human rights abuse relating to

the leader's or official's tenure. Hanafi serves as the Taliban's so-

called ``Minister'' for the so-called ``Ministry for the Propagation of

Virtue and Prevention of Vice'' (MPVPV). Since August 2021, members of

the so-called MPVPV have engaged in serious human rights abuse,

including killings, abductions, whippings, and beatings. Members of the

so-called MPVPV have assaulted people protesting the restrictions on

women's activity, including access to education.

Mir Rahman Rahmani and Ajmal Rahmani: Mir Rahmani and

Ajmal Rahmani, collectively ``the Rahmanis,'' were designated on

December 11, 2023, for being government officials, or persons acting

for or on behalf of such an official, who are responsible for or

complicit in, or have directly or indirectly engaged in, corruption,

including the misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of

private assets for personal gain, corruption related to government

contracts or the extraction of natural resources, or bribery. The

Rahmanis engaged in corruption related to government contracts

involving the import and delivery of fuel, contract inflation, import

tax fraud, fuel theft, and parliamentary corruption.

[cir] On December 11, 2023, 41 entities were designated for being

owned or controlled by, or having acted or purported to act for or on

behalf of, directly or indirectly, Ajmal Rahmani:

[squ] 21 German companies: Ozean Immobilien Projektentwicklung

Verwaltungs- GmbH, Ozean Immobilien Management GmbH & Co. KG, Ozean

Immobilien Projektentwicklung GmbH & Co. KG, Pyramaxia Immoprojekt GmbH

& Co. KG, Pyramaxia Real Estate Development GmbH & Co. KG, Pyramaxia

Real Estate GmbH & Co. KG, Ozean Group GmbH, Ozean Baustoffe GmbH & Co.

KG, Ozean Horizont Baumaschinen & Bauequipment GmbH & Co. KG, Ozean

Horizont Bauwerke GmbH, Ozean Horizont Erdarbeiten GmbH & Co. KG, Ozean

Horizont Objektplanung GmbH & Co. KG, Ozean Horizont

Projektentwicklungs GmbH & Co. KG, Ozean Horizont Spezialtiefbau GmbH &

Co. KG, RG Immoprojekt GmbH & Co. KG, RG Real Estate Development GmbH &

Co. KG, RG Real Estate GmbH & Co. KG, NAI Energy Europe GmbH & Co. KG,

NAI Energy Europe Verwaltungs GmbH, NAI Europe Energy GmbH & Co. KG,

and NAI Management GmbH

[squ] Eight Cypriot companies: Pyramaxia Limited, RG Holdings Limited,

NAI Logistics Limited, Buoyant Holdings Limited, Ocean Europe CY

Limited, DCH. Dream Creators Holdings LTD, Riseonic Holdings LTD, and

ZEM Holdings LTD

[squ] Six Emirati companies: RG Group FZE, The Fern Limited, Ascent

Holdings LTD, Orbit International FZE, Ocean Estate Company Limited,

and Rahmani Group International JLT

[squ] Two Afghan companies: Fidelis Logistic and Supply Services and

Secure Movement Logistics Services

[squ] Two Austrian companies: Ocean Estate GmbH and Ocean Properties

GmbH

[squ] One Dutch company: NAI Logistics B.V.

[squ] One Bulgarian company: Lego Investments EOOD

[cir] Additionally, the following two German companies were

designated for being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or

purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Ocean

Properties GmbH: Ozean Development Real Estate GmbH & Co. KG and Ozean

Real Estate GmbH & Co. KG.

[cir] The following Dutch company was designated for being owned or

controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf

of, directly or indirectly, RZ Group FZE: AlphaOne Pharmaceutical B.V.

Bulgaria

Rumen Stoyanov Ovcharov: Ovcharov was designated on

February 10, 2023, for being a foreign person who is a current or

former government official, or a person acting for or on behalf of such

an official, who is responsible for or complicit in, or has directly or

indirectly engaged in,

[[Page 13797]]

corruption, including the misappropriation of state assets, the

expropriation of private assets for personal gain, corruption related

to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources, or

bribery. Ovcharov is a former Minister of Energy and Economy, Bulgarian

member of parliament (MP), and current member of the Bulgarian

Socialist Party (BSP) National Council. Ovcharov repeatedly engaged in

corrupt energy contracts with Russian energy companies, receiving

bribes and other kickbacks in exchange for fixed-price contracts for

Russian gas and nuclear fuel and support contracts at the Kozloduy

Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP). Russian-based nuclear fuel contracts

negotiated by Ovcharov proxies overcharged KNPP up to [euro]50 million,

resulting in tens of millions in ill-gotten profits for participants.

Aleksandar Hristov Nikolov: Nikolov was designated on

February 10, 2023, for being a foreign person who is a current or

former government official, or a person acting for or on behalf of such

an official, who is responsible for or complicit in, or has directly or

indirectly engaged in, corruption, including the misappropriation of

state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain,

corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural

resources, or bribery. Nikolov is a former CEO and deputy director of

KNPP. Nikolov, Ovcharov, and Ivan Kirov Genov coordinated personal

commissions by corruptly diverting service contracts for KNPP to their

own business interests, avoiding scrutiny from Bulgarian officials

through offshore management. Nikolov and Genov agreed to accept five

million Bulgarian leva in bribes from foreign nuclear power executives

in exchange for guarantees of KNPP contracts.

Ivan Kirov Genov: Genov was designated on February 10,

2023, for being a foreign person who is a current or former government

official who is responsible for or complicit in, or who has directly or

indirectly engaged in corruption, including the misappropriation of

state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain,

corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural

resources, or bribery. Genov is a former CEO of KNPP and was a

Bulgarian MP with the BSP from 2017 to 2019. Genov, Nikolov, and

Ovcharov coordinated personal commissions by corruptly diverting

service contracts for KNPP to their own business interests, avoiding

scrutiny from Bulgarian officials through offshore management. Genov

and Nikolov agreed to accept five million Bulgarian leva in bribes from

foreign nuclear power executives in exchange for guarantees of KNPP

contracts. Even after exiting his position as Executive Director of

KNPP, Genov solicited three million Bulgarian leva in bribes from

Bulgarian business executives to facilitate the reconsideration of KNPP

contract awards to benefit their companies.

Nikolay Simeonov Malinov: Malinov was designated on

February 10, 2023, for being a foreign person who is a current or

former government official, or a person acting for or on behalf of such

an official, who is responsible for or complicit in, or has directly or

indirectly engaged in, corruption, including the misappropriation of

state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain,

corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural

resources, or bribery. Malinov is a former MP from the BSP and leader

of the pro-Russian lobby group Russophiles National Movement. After he

was arrested and charged with espionage for spying for Russian-backed

interests and barred from international travel in September 2019,

Malinov bribed a Bulgarian judge to allow him to travel to Russia to

personally receive the Friendship Medal from Russian President Vladimir

Putin.

Inter Trade 2021 EOOD, MS Konsult 2016 EOOD, Russophiles

National Movement, Russophiles for the Revival of the Fatherland

Political Party: These entities were designated on February 10, 2023,

for being owned or controlled by, directly or indirectly, Malinov.

Vladislov Ivanov Goranov: Goranov was designated on

February 10, 2023, for being a foreign person who is a current or

former government official, or a person acting for or on behalf of such

an official, who is responsible for or complicit in, or has directly or

indirectly engaged in, corruption, including the misappropriation of

state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain,

corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural

resources, or bribery. Goranov served as a Bulgarian MP and was

Minister of Finance in the second and third administrations led by the

Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) political party

until 2020. As Minister of Finance, Goranov participated in a

corruption scheme that resulted in tens of millions of euros paid to

Bulgarian officials in exchange for favorable legislation for

interested parties involved in the gambling industry.

Trilemma Consulting Ltd EOOD: This entity was designated

on February 10, 2023, for being owned or controlled by, directly or

indirectly, Goranov. Trilemma Consulting Ltd EOOD is a sole

proprietorship consulting company.

Guatemala

Luis Miguel Martinez Morales: Martinez was designated on

December 1, 2023, for being a foreign person who is a current or former

government official, or person acting for or on behalf of such an

official, who is responsible for or complicit in, or who has directly

or indirectly engaged in, corruption, including the misappropriation of

state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain,

corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural

resources, or bribery. Martinez is the former head of the now-defunct

Centro de Gobierno. Martinez has influenced the government contracts

process to benefit himself and close associates. Martinez colluded with

other Guatemalan government officials to illegally award contracts to

favored bidders outside of Guatecompras, the Guatemalan government's

formal procurement system. Martinez and his conspirators used

antiquated procurement law to forego the bidding process and secure

government contracts for companies in which he has a financial

interest.

Haiti

Gary Bodeau: Bodeau was designated on April 5, 2023, for

being a foreign person who is a current or former government official,

or a person acting for or on behalf of such an official, who is

responsible for or complicit in, or has directly or indirectly engaged

in, corruption, including the misappropriation of state assets, the

expropriation of private assets for personal gain, corruption related

to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources, or

bribery. Bodeau is the former President of the Haitian Chamber of

Deputies. Bodeau was involved in several corrupt schemes wherein he

engaged in efforts to influence the outcome of Haitian political

appointments, including facilitating and soliciting bribes worth

millions of dollars. In 2018, Bodeau paid Haitian officials to secure

their votes while seeking ministerial position appointments. He also

solicited a large bribery payment worth hundreds of thousands of

dollars from senior government officials in exchange for his political

support. In 2019, Bodeau offered to deliver a successful vote in the

Chamber of Deputies for a prospective ministerial appointee in

[[Page 13798]]

exchange for millions of dollars paid out through individual payments

to members of the Chamber of Deputies.

Johnson Andr[eacute], Renel Destina, Vitel'homme Innocent,

and Wilson Joseph: Andr[eacute], Destina, Innocent, and Joseph were

each designated on December 8, 2023 for being a foreign person who is

responsible for or complicit in, or has directly or indirectly engaged

in, serious human rights abuse and for being a foreign person who is or

has been a leader or official of an entity, including any government

entity, that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, serious

human rights abuse relating to the leader's or official's tenure in

their roles as leaders of criminal gangs in Haiti. Respectively,

Andr[eacute], Destina, Innocent, and Joseph are the leaders of four

criminal gangs: 5 Segond, Grand Ravine, Kraze Bary[eacute], and 400

Mawozo. Innocent and Joseph have both been indicted by the U.S.

Department of Justice for their role in the armed kidnapping of U.S.

citizens in Haiti. Andr[eacute] and his gang have been identified by

survivors as being directly responsible for 1,035 documented cases of

sexual violence in 2022 alone. Destina, who is a key ally of

Andr[eacute], has committed kidnappings as well as killings, robberies,

rapes, looting and burning of residences, and continuous attacks

against Haitian police officers.

Liberia

Jefferson Koijee: Koijee was designated on December 8,

2023, for being a foreign person who is responsible for or complicit

in, or who has directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights

abuse and for being a foreign person who is a current or former

government official, or a person acting for or on behalf of such an

official, who is responsible for or complicit in, or who has directly

or indirectly engaged in, corruption, including the misappropriation of

state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain,

corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural

resources, or bribery. Koijee and his supporters have been involved in

violence in connection with: an opposition rally in July 2022, students

attending a memorial service for former Liberian president Amos Sawyer

in March 2022, an anti-rape protest in August 2020, a student

graduation ceremony in December 2019, and an opposition rally in

November 2018. Koijee has also engaged in corrupt acts, including

bribery and misappropriation of state assets for use by private

political movements and pressuring anti-corruption investigators to

halt corruption investigations.

Paraguay

Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara: Cartes was designated on

January 26, 2023, for being a foreign person who is a current or former

government official, or a person acting for or on behalf of such an

official, who is responsible for or complicit in, or has directly or

indirectly engaged in corruption, including the misappropriation of

state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain,

corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural

resources, or bribery. Former Paraguayan president Cartes engaged in

corruption before, during, and after his term as President of Paraguay.

Cartes paid party members up to $10,000 each to support his candidacy

ahead of the 2013 elections. While President of Paraguay, Cartes

continued his corrupt schemes, including making cash payments to

officials in exchange for their loyalty and support. He maintained his

grip on policymaking through monthly cash bribes paid out to loyal

legislators; payments ranged from $5,000 to $50,000 per member. Cartes

continued to influence legislative activities after leaving office,

targeting political opponents, and bribing legislators to direct votes

in his interest, with top supporters receiving as much as $50,000

monthly.

Hugo Adalberto Velazquez Moreno: Velazquez was designated

on January 26, 2023, for being a foreign person who is a current or

former government official, or a person acting for or on behalf of such

an official, who has engaged in, corruption, including the

misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets

for personal gain, corruption related to government contracts or the

extraction of natural resources, or bribery. Then-Paraguayan Vice

President Velazquez interfered in legal processes to protect himself

and criminal associates from criminal investigations, including by

bribing and threatening those who would expose his criminal activity.

Tabacos USA Inc., Bebidas USA Inc., Dominicana Acquisition

S.A., Frigorifico Chajha S.A.E.: These entities were designated on

January 26, 2023, for being owned or controlled by Cartes.

Tabacalera Del Este S.A. (Tabesa): On March 31, 2023, OFAC

identified Tabesa as an entity that is owned, directly or indirectly,

50 percent or more by Cartes and added Tabesa to the SDN List.

People's Republic of China

Gao Qi: Gao was designated on December 8, 2023, for being

a foreign person who is or has been a leader or official of the

Xinjiang Public Security Bureau (XPSB), an entity, including any

government entity, that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged

in, serious human rights abuse relating to his tenure. OFAC designated

the XPSB on July 9, 2020, for being a foreign person responsible for,

or complicit in, or that has directly or indirectly engaged in, serious

human rights abuse. Gao was concurrently sanctioned under the Uyghur

Human Rights Policy Act.

Hu Lianhe: Hu was designated on December 8, 2023, for

being a foreign person who is or has been a leader or official of an

entity, including any government entity, that has engaged in, or whose

members have engaged in, any of the activities described in subsection

(ii)(A) of Section 1(a) of E.O. 13818. Hu has served as the Deputy

Office Director for the Xinjiang Work Coordination Small Group of the

Central Committee since 2012. The XWCSG engaged in direct and close

involvement in the PRC's March 2017 Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

``De-Extremification Regulation,'' and its October 2018 revision, which

provided the framework for Xinjiang's ``de-extremification'' through

re-education campaign.

Russia

Andrei Andreevich Zadachin: Zadachin was designated on

March 3, 2023, for being a foreign person who is responsible for or

complicit in, or has directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human

rights abuse. Zadachin is a Special Investigator assigned to the Chief

Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian

Federation. Zadachin ordered that a criminal case be initiated against

Vladimir Kara-Murza based on his speech before the Arizona House of

Representatives. Zadachin requested that detention be ordered as a pre-

trial restraint for Kara-Murza and defended this request in court.

Danila Yurievich Mikheev: Mikheev was designated on March

3, 2023, or being a foreign person who has materially assisted,

sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support

for, or goods or services to or in support of, serious human rights

abuse that is conducted by a foreign person. Mikheev is a Russian

Federation national who served as an expert witness for the Russian

government on the case against Kara-Murza, reviewing video of Kara-

Murza's

[[Page 13799]]

speech and providing a report that served as part of the basis on which

Elena Anatolievna Lenskaya ordered Kara-Murza be held.

Elena Anatolievna Lenskaya: Lenskaya was designated on

March 3, 2023, for being a foreign person who is responsible for or

complicit in, or has directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human

rights abuse. Lenskaya is a judge of the Basmannyy District Court in

Moscow who oversaw Kara-Murza's pre-trial detention hearing. Lenskaya

ordered that Kara-Murza be held in pre-trial detention on charges based

on his exercising the right to freedom of expression.

Uganda

Johnson Byabashaija: Byabashaija was designated on

December 8, 2023, for being a foreign person who is or has been a

leader or official of an entity, including any government entity, that

has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, serious human rights

abuse relating to the leader's or official's tenure. Byabashaija has

served as Commissioner General of the Uganda Prisons Service (UPS)

since 2005. During that period, members of the UPS have engaged in

serious human rights abuse against prisoners held within UPS

facilities. Prisoners have reported being tortured and beaten by UPS

staff and by fellow prisoners at the direction of UPS staff. Members of

vulnerable groups, including government critics and members of Uganda's

LGBTQI+ community, have been beaten.

Visa Restrictions Imposed

Persons designated pursuant to E.O. 13818 are subject to the entry

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 2023, the Department took steps to impose visa restrictions,

when appropriate, on foreign persons involved in certain human rights

violations and significant corruption pursuant to other authorities,

including Presidential Proclamations 7750 and 8697, and Section 7031(c)

of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs

Appropriations Act. The Department will continue to identify

individuals subject to those authorities as appropriate, including but

not limited to individuals designated under Global Magnitsky. In

addition, the Department continues to implement all grounds of

inadmissibility in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), including

INA section 212(a)(3)(E) which renders applicants ineligible for visas

if a consular officer has reason to believe that they participated in

acts of genocide, torture, or extrajudicial killings.

Efforts To Encourage Governments of Other Countries To Impose Sanctions

Similar to Those Authorized by the Act

The United States recognizes that our sanctions are most impactful

when implemented in coordination with our foreign partners. In 2023,

the Administration continued its successful outreach campaign to

international partners regarding the expansion and use of domestic and

multilateral anticorruption and human rights sanctions regimes. Over

the course of the reporting period, the Administration coordinated with

likeminded partners in pursuing coordinated actions against human

rights abusers and corrupt actors, particularly in the run up to annual

International Anti-Corruption Day and Human Rights Day. The United

States took its Human Rights Day actions in concert with the United

Kingdom and Canada, each of which took similar measures to deter human

rights abuse globally. Of note, in coordination with partners on the

United Nations Security Council, the United States co-sponsored the

designation by the Security Council of four Haitian gang leaders,

consistent with the Presidential Memorandum on Conflict-Related Sexual

Violence and underscoring the Administration's commitment to

recognizing abhorrent abuse and promoting accountability for serious

human rights abusers.

Though not concurrent with U.S. actions, the United Kingdom,

Canada, European Union (EU), and Australia all took action against

individuals in Russia connected to serious human rights abuse, namely

the arbitrary detention of Russian pro-democracy activist Vladimir

Kara-Murza. Additionally, the United States designated Gary Bodeau in

April 2023, an individual previously designated by Canada under its

Special Economic Measure for Haiti authority in November 2022. On the

same day that the United States announced a second round of corruption

sanctions in Bulgaria, the United Kingdom, together with U.S.

government officials in Sofia, announced its designation of three

corrupt Bulgarian actors for serious corruption and abuse of public

institution funds under its Global Anti-Corruption and Global Human

Rights regimes. The UK designations reinforced prior U.S. designations

of these individuals under Global Magnitsky on June 2, 2021: Vassil

Kroumov Bojkov, Delyan Slavchev Peevski, and Ilko Dimitrov Zhelyazkov.

Similarly, in May 2023, the EU designated seven Moldovan individuals

for undermining or threatening the sovereignty of Moldova, including

Vladimir Plahotniuc, who was previously designated by the United States

in October 2022 and by the United Kingdom in December 2022. In May

2023, Canada designated seven individuals, including Plahotniuc. In

October 2023, Canada imposed sanctions on nine additional individuals

associated with Plahotniuc. On December 8, 2023, the United States

designated two Afghan individuals, including Khalid Hanafi, the

Taliban's so-called ``Minister'' for the so-called ``Ministry for the

Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice'' (MPVPV) for serious

human rights abuse related to the repression of women and girls,

including through the restriction of access to secondary education for

women and girls in Afghanistan solely on the basis of gender. The EU

took similar action under its Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime on

July 20, 2023, imposing restrictive measures on two of the Taliban's

so-called ``acting Ministers''--including Hanafi--for their role in

``depriving Afghan girls and women of their right to education, access

to justice and equal treatment between men and women.''

The United States is closely following the potential development of

an EU anti-corruption sanctions authority and stands ready to support

EU efforts by sharing insights and offering technical support,

including regarding evidence collection, addressing legal challenges,

and evidentiary requirements. The Administration will continue to seek

out additional allies and partners, including civil society, to

leverage all tools at our disposal to deny access to the United States'

and international financial systems and deny entry to the United States

to all those who engage in serious human rights abuse and corruption.

Andrew H. Self,

Foreign Affairs Officer, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs,

Department of State.

[FR Doc. 2024-03532 Filed 2-22-24; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4710-AE-P