USA bans anti-gay Chechnya leader for 'extrajudicial killing' and 'torture'

Chechen head Ramzan Kadyrov

In response to the Magnitsky Act, Putin hit back, signing a bill that prohibited United States adults from adopting Russian children.

Russian Federation was considering retaliation on Thursday for the United States imposing sanctions on the Kremlin-backed leader of southern Russia's Chechnya region, Ramzan Kadyrov.

Kadyrov, however, has long denied the existence of gay men in the country, telling HBO reporter David Scott back in July that if they were present in Chechnya that he'd "take them far from us so we don't have them at home".

"I haven't been ordered to step foot on USA soil yet".

The department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov was responsible for torture, extrajudicial killing and other violations of global law. The sanctions also target Sergey Kusiuk, commander of the Berkut Ukrainian special police force.

In addition to the head of Russia's Chechnya Republic, the U.S. Treasury said on its website that it was sanctioning four Russians under a U.S. law known as the Magnitsky Act.

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

A year ago the Magnitsky Act was expanded to allow the U.S. to target human rights abusers anywhere, not just in Russian Federation.

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.

Donald Trump Jr., son of President Donald Trump, has said he discussed the Magnitsky Act and the adoption law with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya previous year during an unusual campaign-season meeting that has been examined as part of the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and potential collusion with Trump's campaign.

In 2016, the Magnitsky Act was expanded to allow the U.S.to target human rights abusers anywhere, not just in Russian Federation.

"Trump signed an Executive Order (Order) today declaring a national emergency with respect to serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world", the release said, adding that the president "imposed sanctions on 13 serious human rights abusers and corrupt actors" as well as "an additional 39 affiliated individuals and entities".

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