Updated: Jan 20, 2020
Human rights abusers to face future EU blacklists
Human rights abusers around the world will, in future, face EU asset freezes and travel bans under new-model sanctions agreed by foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday (9 December).
"Today, the EU unanimously decided to legislate a worldwide EU human rights sanction regime," Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok said.
"To have a tool like this ... will give us much more strength and capacity to react to serious human rights violations," the EU's new foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, also said.
The Netherlands had pushed for the new measures over the past year after Dutch MPs had instructed its government to seek a Europe-wide 'Magnitsky Act'.
Magnitsky Acts, already in place in the US, Canada, the UK, and the Baltic states, target individuals rather than foreign administrations and can snap into action more quickly than country-based sanctions.
They are named after Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian anti-corruption activist who died in prison in 2009.
And they were born out of an international campaign by Magnitsky's former employer, British hedge fund manager Bill Browder.