The US on Monday sanctioned Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation, over human rights abuses in the country.

State Department “has extensive credible information that Kadyrov is responsible for numerous gross violations of human rights dating back more than a decade, including torture and extrajudicial killings,” State Secretary Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

The designations include his spouse Medni Kadyrova, and his daughters Aishat and Karina Kadyrova.

“We are concerned that Mr. Kadyrov is now using the excuse of the coronavirus pandemic to inflict further human rights abuses on the people of the Chechen Republic,” Pompeo added.

Recalling that the US has repeatedly raised concerns about human rights violations committed by the Chechen leader and it participated in a fact-finding mission in 2018 with fifteen other nations, Pompeo said that Washington will encourage like-minded countries to take similar measures.

The US is committed to using all the tools to ensure accountability for those who engage in this “abhorrent” behavior, he concluded.

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