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Wednesday, 13 September 2017 06:07

Rights groups target police, spy chiefs globally under new U.S. law

Written by  Reuters

Michael Kahn, Warren Strobel

6 Min Read

PRAGUE/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Police and spy chiefs from China to the Middle East, a Ukrainian oligarch and a former president of Panama are among the people a coalition of human rights groups wants targeted for sanctions under an expanded U.S.

law aimed at curbing rights abuses and corruption worldwide.

The coalition, in documents to be made public on Wednesday, submitted 15 cases to the U.S. State Department and U.S. Treasury, urging them to investigate using the law, called the Global Magnitsky Act.

The law, which then-President Barack Obama signed in December 2016, expands the scope of 2012 legislation that froze the assets of Russian officials and banned them from traveling to the United States because of their links to the 2009 death in prison of a whistleblower, Sergey Magnitsky.

“The cases we have elected to highlight come from every region of the world, and involve horrific stories of torture, enforced disappearance, murder, sexual assault, extortion and bribery,” the coalition of 23 groups said in a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The groups said their information came from first-hand accounts of victims and their attorneys, investigative journalism and reports by non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Read more at Reuters

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