Human rights violations in countries such as china, russia or saudi arabia will be much easier for the european union to sanction in the future.
Representatives of the member states agreed on a corresponding regulation on wednesday evening in brussels, as EU diplomats confirmed to the german press agency. It has been negotiated in recent weeks under the current german EU presidency and is to be officially agreed at a meeting of eu ministers next monday.
The new regulation will reportedly make it possible to freeze assets of actors who commit or profit from serious human rights violations. In addition, entry bans are to be imposed on individuals.
Until now, human rights violations could only be punished in the context of criminal sanctions against states or in the framework of special sanctions regimes created by the EU, for example, in the fight against cyber attacks and the use of chemical weapons.
This has so far made an EU response to human rights violations complicated or impossible – for example, in the case of the cruel killing of journalist jamal khashoggi in the saudi arabian consulate in istanbul.
The model for the planned EU system is the so-called global magnitsky act of the USA. This was adopted by the US congress in 2016 to impose sanctions on individuals responsible for the death of the russian lawyer and chief economic advisor sergei magnitski. Magnitski died in 2009 while in custody in a russian prison after being mistreated and receiving inadequate medical care.
Proposals to name the planned EU sanctions mechanism after the recently poisoned kremlin critic alexei nawalny were not taken up by the EU. In october, the EU states had already imposed entry and asset bans on suspected responsible persons from the entourage of president vladimir putin because of the attack on the opposition politician.