In a largely symbolic gesture the British government has introduced a new UK-only sanctions list targeting key individuals and institutions from four countries.
The list includes forty-seven people from Saudi Arabia, Russia and Myanmar, in addition to two North Korean organizations.
Included in the list are 20 Saudi nationals allegedly involved in the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi; 25 Russian nationals allegedly involved in the death of lawyer and auditor Sergei Magnitsky; and two high-ranking Myanmar generals allegedly implicated in violence against the stateless Rohingya people.
Furthermore, two North Korean organizations allegedly involved in forced labor have also been included in the list for good measure.
Whilst the scope and efficacy of the sanctions are not entirely clear, it is understood that targeted individuals will be subjected to travel bans to the UK and asset freezes.
The new sanctions regime – the first of its kind in the UK – was announced to MPs at the House of Commons by the foreign secretary Dominic Raab.
Raab proclaimed that: “Today this government and this House sends a very clear message on behalf of the British people”.
"Those with blood on their hands, the thugs of despots, the henchman [sic] of dictators will not be free to waltz into this country to buy up property on the King's Road, to do their Christmas shopping in Knightsbridge or frankly to siphon dirty money through British banks or other financial institutions", Raab added.
It is widely thought the new sanctions list is part of the British government’s strategy to assert itself on the global stage in an uncertain post-Brexit world.
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