UK slaps sanctions on Pak ex-cop for human rights violations

Anwar Ahmad Khan, the former senior superintendent of police in Malir District, Karachi, is among 10 people and one entity sanctioned by the Boris Johnson government for human rights violations on Thursday, including travel bans and freeze of their assets in the UK.

Those sanctioned include Russian, Venezuelan and Gambian human rights violators, the Foreign Office said, adding that the sanctions have been imposed alongside the United States on International Human Rights Day.

On the Pakistani former policeman, it said: “Rao Anwar Khan is the former Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) in Malir District, Pakistan. In his role as SSP Malir, Khan was reportedly responsible for numerous staged police encounters in which individuals were killed by police, and was directly involved in over 190 police encounters that resulted in the deaths of over 400 people, including the murder of Naqeebullah Mehsud in 2018. Khan is therefore responsible for or complicit in, the serious violations of the right to life”.

This is the third time the UK has sanctioned people or entities for human rights violations and abuses under a UK-only regime, with the first in July and the second in September 2020. In total, the US and the UK designated 31 actors today for their involvement in serious human rights abuses, the Foreign Office said in a statement.

In Russia, the UK imposed sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, against three individuals and the Terek Special Rapid Response Unit the statement said is responsible for torture and other human rights violations against LGBT people in Chechnya.

Others include senior security figures In Venezuela and the former president of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh.

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab said: “Today’s sanctions send a clear message to human rights violators that the UK will hold them to account. The UK and our allies are shining a light on the severe and systematic human rights violations perpetrated by those sanctioned today”.

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