US Sanctions Chechen Strongman Kadyrov, 4 Other Russians

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Kadyrov, who has cultivated an image as an authoritarian strongman doing the Kremlin's bidding, responded to the sanctions with a veiled threat that the USA does not have to worry about him because he has not yet been ordered to go there.

News broke earlier this year of the torture and killing of gay and bi men in Chechnya.

Previous to today, 44 Russian individuals had been censured by the Magnitsky Act, but the U.S. Treasury added five more names, including Kadyrov's.

The administration imposed the sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which Congress passed a year ago.

Earlier on Wednesday, the U.S. Administration added five more citizens of Russian Federation, including Ramzan Kadyrov, to the Magnitsky List.

The Treasury Department said Kadyrov oversaw "disappearances and extrajudicial killings" and that he's believed to have ordered the killing of one of his political rivals.

As of June 2017, the Chechen government has imprisoned over 100 LBGT men in what was widely described as "gay concentration camps".

The new sanctions also target Mukhtar Hamid Shah, a Pakistani surgeon specializing in kidney transplants who Pakistani police believe is involved in the trafficking of human organs.

The other three Russians being targeted are accused of being involved in the criminal conspiracy in Russia that Magnitsky exposed.

The law was named after an auditor working for Hermitage Capital Management, a British investment fund, who was arrested on charge of creating illegal tax evasion schemes for the fund. Shortly after, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law banning American citizens from adopting Russian children, in a move widely viewed as retaliation.

The designations announced Wednesday bring the total number of individuals sanctioned under a 2012 law known as the Magnitsky Act to 49.

The sanctions block the five individuals from conducting any financial transactions in the United States and also generally prohibits any Americans from doing business with them.

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