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US sanctions Rao Anwar for human rights abuse in Pakistan

The United States’ Department of Treasury sanctioned on Tuesday a former Pakistani police officer for his involvement in “serious human rights abuse” in Pakistan, it said in a statement on its website.

Rao Anwar, a former senior superintendent of police, was
among 18 other individuals from six countries who were sanctioned for their
roles in “atrocities and other abuses”.

The action was taken by the Department of the Treasury’s
Office of Foreign Assets Control on the International Human Rights Day.

It said Anwar was reportedly responsible for staging
numerous fake police encounters during his tenure as an SSP.

He was “involved in over 190 police encounters that
resulted in the deaths of over 400 people, including the murder of Naqeebullah
Mehsood,” the US Department of the Treasury said in the statement.

“Anwar helped lead a network of police and criminal
thugs that were allegedly responsible for extortion, land grabbing, narcotics,
and murder.”

In his statement, US Secretary of the Treasury Steven T.
Mnuchin said the US would not tolerate torture, kidnapping, sexual violence,
murder, or brutality against innocent civilians.

“America is the world leader in combatting human rights
abuse and we will hold perpetrators and enablers accountable wherever they
operate,” Secretary Mnuchin vowed.

“Treasury’s action focuses on those who have killed, or
ordered the killing of innocents who stood up for human rights including
journalists, opposition members, and lawyers,” Deputy Secretary Justin G.
Muzinich said.

The individuals sanctioned by the US also included four top
commanders of the Burmese military forces for their involvement in persecution
of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

The OFAC also designated six entities for being owned or
controlled by one of these 18 individuals from Burma, Pakistan, Libya,
Slovakia, Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan.

Implications of these sanctions

As a result of these sanctions, all property and interests
in property of the individuals named above, and of any entities that are owned,
directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by them, individually, or with other
designated persons, that are in the United States or in the possession or
control of US persons, are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. 

OFAC’s regulations prohibit all transactions by US persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.

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