Freedom Now Publishes Report on The Maldives Urging US to Impose Targeted Financial Sanctions & Travel Bans on Serious Human Rights Abusers


Washington – Today, Freedom Now, a non-governmental organization that serves as pro bono counsel to Mohamed Nasheed, former President of the Maldives, launched its report Moving From Condemnation to Action: The Case for the United States to Impose Targeted Financial Sanctions and Travel Bans on Serious Human Rights Abusers in the Maldives. In addition to publishing the 30-page report, international counsel also provided a confidential and detailed list of perpetrators to the White House, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, and key Members of Congress. A similar list was previously provided to the UK Foreign Office.

In the report, Freedom Now details the broad range of human rights abuses being committed by the authoritarian regime of President Abdulla Yameen. It explains the ways in which asset freezes and travel bans are imposed and then compares the situation in The Maldives to other countries in which sanctions have been imposed by the United States. And it concludes:

This report recommends that President Barack Obama issue an Executive Order creating a human rights-based sanctions program in response to the crisis in the Maldives and immediately update the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List of the US Department of the Treasury to include the senior Maldivian government officials implicated in major human rights abuses. (A confidential list of proposed designees has been provided to the US Government.) It also recommends the concurrent adoption of travel bans on these same individuals. In addition, the report urges President Obama to support the adoption of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which would create a uniform approach to imposing financial sanctions and travel bans on major human rights abusers around the world.

Freedom Now Founder Jared Genser said:

“We have been incredibly grateful for the strong support of the United States both to secure President Nasheed’s freedom and to address the rapidly deteriorating rights situation. Given Yameen’s utter intransigence, it is time for the United States and other countries to move from condemnation to action by imposing targeted sanctions on key regime officials.”

President Nasheed’s international legal team also includes Amal Clooney and Ben Emmerson QC.

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