Religious freedom violators could be targeted under new UK government powers

Marcus Jones

New powers aimed at people involved in serious human rights abuses are being brought in, the Foreign Secretary said.

The UK is bringing in a new regime to target the "worst human rights violators", the Foreign Office has stated.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: "From today, the UK will have new powers to stop those involved in serious human rights abuses and violations from entering the UK, channelling money through our banks and profiting from our economy.

"This is a clear example of how the UK will help to lead the world in standing up for human rights.

"We will not let those who seek to inflict pain and destroy the lives of innocent victims benefit from what the UK has to offer."

The UK's "autonomous sanctions" regime is set to be brought into force on Monday.

The Foreign Office says it will target "the world's worst human rights violators and abusers, and those complicit in their crimes".

The department said it will be the first time that the UK has sanctioned people or entities for human rights violations and abuses under a UK-only regime, and will allow the UK "to work independently with allies such as the US, Canada, Australia and the European Union".

An FCO spokesperson said: "The regime will allow the UK to target individuals and organisations around the world unlike conventional geographic sanctions regime, which only target a country.

"Future targets of the regime may include those who commit unlawful killings perpetrated against journalists and media workers, or activity motivated on the grounds of religion or belief."


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