U.S. imposes sanctions over abuses, targets China and Russia

  • Penalties for alleged abuses related to illegal fishing
  • The first US sanctions against a Nasdaq-listed company
  • Russian electorate targeted for referendums
  • Other orders mention Tibet, Iran protests

WASHINGTON, Dec 9 (Reuters) – The United States imposed sanctions on dozens of people and entities on Friday for alleged rights abuses, including Russia’s Central Election Commission, Iranian officials and Chinese nationals.

The US Treasury Department said it had imposed sanctions on Li Zhenyu and Zhuo Xinrong, both Chinese nationals, and 10 entities associated with the two, including Nasdaq-listed Pingtan Marine Enterprise (PME), for what it said Washington, China-related human rights abuses. illegal fishing.

PME (PME.O) is the first time the US has imposed sanctions on a NASDAQ-listed entity.

PME, its founder Zhuo, another sanctioned company Dalian Ocean Fishing Co. and the Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Washington also attacked 157 Chinese-flagged fishing vessels linked to sanctioned entities, he said.

In June, US President Joe Biden signed a national security memorandum to combat illegal fishing, part of a promised effort to help countries combat alleged violations by fishing fleets, including those of China.

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Countries around the world are angered by China’s fishing practices, saying its vessels often violate their 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zones (EEZs), causing environmental damage and economic loss.

China maintains that it is a responsible fishing nation that cooperates internationally to suppress illegal fishing and that it fishes in the relevant exclusive economic zones in accordance with bilateral agreements.

“These designations demonstrate how seriously we take the problem of illegal fishing and our commitment to holding perpetrators of serious human rights abuses accountable,” Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement.

The Treasury Department has issued a general license allowing US persons to engage in certain debt or equity transactions of PMEs until March 9.

The stock closed at 65.7 cents a share on Thursday, and trading was halted on Friday following the announcement of Treasury sanctions.

PME’s market cap is less than $60 million, making it a small stock, and there were no signs that the move to sanction the company had much of an impact on Friday’s trading.

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In a separate operation, the Treasury Department also named 40 individuals and entities linked to alleged human rights abuses or corruption in nine countries, including Russia, China and Iran.

Washington has imposed sanctions on Russia’s Central Election Commission, accusing it of helping to control and monitor what the US says are “sham referendums” held in Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine and 15 of its members.

The Treasury Department also took action against four people it accused of being directly involved in Russian filtering operations. The State Department has designated two Russian nationals for allegedly abusing the human rights of Ukrainian civilians.

Russia has been accused of numerous war crimes since its invasion of Ukraine in February, including operating a system of so-called filtration camps to move Ukrainians from occupied territories to Russia.

Russia has denied the allegations and accused Ukraine and its backers in the West of smearing.

The Ministry of Finance also imposed sanctions on two Chinese officials accused of serious human rights abuses in China’s Tibet region: Wu Yingjie, head of the Chinese Communist Party in Tibet from 2016 to 2021, and Zhang Hongbo, a senior public security official in the region. .

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Chinese authorities have been accused of using harsh policies to suppress ethnic dissent and control religious activities in Tibet – charges China denies.

Friday’s action also imposed sanctions on Iranian officials for their crackdown on protesters, North Korea’s Ministry of State Security’s Border Guard General Office and Alpha Conde, the former president of Guinea, and other individuals and entities in El Salvador, the Philippines, Mali and Guatemala.

The Chinese and Russian embassies in Washington and the Iranian mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the actions.

Friday’s move freezes all U.S. assets of those on the list and generally bans Americans from doing business with them.

Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis and Michael Martina; Editing: Andrew Heavens

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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