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Kyrgyzstan|foreign policy|December 11, 2020 / 10:48 AM
U.S. Department of State explains sanctions against Matraimov

AKIPRESS.COM - On the occasion of the International Anticorruption Day and International Human Rights Day, the Department of State and the Department of the Treasury announced sanctions designations and visa restrictions on corrupt actors and human rights abusers, including Deputy Chairman of the Kyrgyz Customs Service Raimbek Matraimov.

Raimbek Matraimov, a former Deputy Chairman of the Kyrgyz Customs Service, was involved in a customs scheme in which at least USD 700 million was laundered from the Kyrgyz Republic. Matraimov is designated under E.O. 13818 for being a foreign person who is a current or former government official responsible for or complicit in, or 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.

Additionally, Matraimov is designated under Section 7031(c) due to his involvement in significant corruption while acting in his official capacity. Under Section 7031(c), when the Secretary of State has credible information of foreign government officials’ involvement, directly or indirectly, in significant corruption or gross violations of human rights, those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States. The law also requires the Secretary of State to either publicly or privately designate officials and their immediate family members. In addition to Matraimov, the Department is designating his spouse, Uulkan Turgunova.

United States imposed sanctions under the Global Magnitsky sanctions program on corrupt actors and human rights abusers worldwide.  These actions target actors across the globe who disregard individuals’ human rights and international standards to prevent and combat corruption.

"As we recognize International Anticorruption Day on December 9 and International Human Rights Day on December 10, the United States is using these sanctions along with the Department of State’s 7031(c) visa restriction authorities to promote accountability and deter human rights abuse and corruption globally.  Together, these actions address perpetrators of corruption and human rights abuses ranging from a corrupt customs official in Kyrgyzstan, to leaders of armed gangs in Haiti, to human rights abusers in Chechnya, and many other bad actors.

We stand beside our partners in the UK who similarly took action against those seeking to rob individuals of their rights.  We congratulate the UK on the actions it took today under its Global Human Rights sanctions program.  In total, the United States and the United Kingdom designated 37 actors in the past 48 hours in connection with corruption or serious human rights abuse.

The ideals we share, supported every day by the formidable work of civil society and journalists, drive these actions.  The United States looks forward to continuing our partnerships with allies and civil society alike to defend human rights, combat corruption, and promote accountability and good governance.

We also welcome the European Union as a partner in this effort after its decision this week to adopt a Global Human Rights sanctions framework of its own.  Together, along with other international partners who seek to promote our shared values with similar tools, we will ensure corrupt actors and human rights abusers will have no refuge within our jurisdictions," the statement said. 

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