U.S. blacklists people in Russia, Haiti, Yemen for rights abuses

FILE PHOTO: MMA - UFC 242 - Khabib Nurmagomedov & Dustin Poirier - Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - September 7, 2019 Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov looks on while in attendance REUTERS/Christopher Pike

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States on Thursday blacklisted alleged human rights abusers in Russia, Yemen and Haiti, including Ramzan Kadyrov, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and five people linked to Yemen’s Houthi-controlled security and intelligence agencies.

Most were blacklisted under Executive Order 13818, which implements the U.S. Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, freezing any assets under U.S. jurisdiction and threatening non-U.S. actors with blacklisting for dealing with them.

The U.S. Treasury said in a statement that in addition to Kadyrov, the head of Russia’s Muslim-majority Chechnya region, it had sanctioned six companies registered in Russia, as well as five individuals, all of which have close ties to him.

The Treasury identified the six companies as Absolute Championship Akhmat, Akhmat MMA, FC Akhmat Grozny, Akhmat Kadyrov Foundation, Megastroyinvest and Chechen Mineral Waters Ltd. It named the five individuals as Vakhit Usmayev, the deputy prime minister of Chechnya, as well as Timur Dugazaev, Ziyad Sabsabi, Daniil Vasilievich Martynov, and Satish Seemar.

Kadyrov said the sanctions will have no impact on Chechnya, adding that he was neither surprised nor frightened by the penalties.

“America has started fighting with sports, with wives, children, charity organizations, athletes, horses... There has not been anything more absurd in the history of mankind,” Kadyrov said in his telegram channel.

The ruble has largely ignored the new targeted sanctions, hitting 73 against the dollar, its strongest since August.

It also sanctioned three people in Haiti - Jimmy Cherizier, Fednel Monchery and Joseph Pierre Richard Duplan - for alleged involvement in a November 2018 attack in the neighborhood of La Saline in which at least 71 people were killed, over 400 houses destroyed and at least seven women were raped by armed gangs.

The Treasury said it was also blacklisting five people tied to Houthi-controlled security agencies in Yemen whom it accused of serious human abuses: Sultan Zabin, Abdul Hakim al-Khaiwani, Abdul Rahab Jarfan, Motlaq Amer al-Marrani and Qader al-Shami.

Reporting By Arshad Mohammed and Andrea Shalal; additional reporting by Andrey Ostroukh in Moscow; Editing by Dan Grebler