The U.S. today announced it has sanctioned former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh under a 2016 human rights law.
A press release from the Treasury Department notes the Trump administration has used the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act that former President Obama signed in 2016 to freeze the assets of Jammeh and a dozen other “serious human rights abusers and corrupt actors.”
President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order “declaring a national emergency with respect to serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world and providing for the imposition of sanctions on actors engaged in these malign activities.”
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control also sanctioned “39 affiliated individuals and entities” under the directive.
“Today, alongside the president and the Department of the Treasury, the Department of State took action against persons who have committed serious human rights abuse and engaged in corruption around the world,” said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a statement.
“The department is committed to protecting and promoting human rights and combatting corruption with all of the tools at our disposal.”
“Today’s actions advance our values and promote the security of the United States, our allies, and our partners,” he added. “We must lead by example, and today’s announcement of sanctions demonstrates the United States will continue to pursue tangible and significant consequences for those who commit serious human rights abuse and engage in corruption.”
Jammeh came to power during a 1994 coup.
He stepped down in January after he lost to current President Adama Barrow in the country’s 2016 presidential election. Jammeh is currently in exile in Equatorial Guinea.