The United Kingdom has slapped sanctions on The Gambia’s former president Yahya Jammeh, as it widened travel bans and economic sanctions for human rights abuses worldwide.
The former president, his wife Zineb, and former director-general of the National Intelligence Agency, Yankuba Badjie, are all now subject to asset freezes and a UK travel ban.
“Today’s sanctions send a clear message to human rights violators that the UK will hold them to account,” said UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Thursday.
The U.K. government said Jammeh was behind “inciting, promoting, ordering and being directly involved in extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, kidnappings, torture, rape, as well as wider human rights violations” after he seized power in a coup in 1994.
Zineb Jammeh was sanctioned for the same reason, and for using charities as a cover for the illicit transfer of funds between herself and her husband.
Both are already under similar sanctions from the United States.
Jammeh who fled to Equatorial Guinea after losing the presidential election to Adama Barrow in December 2016, is one of 10 people on the U.K. sanctions list targeting human rights abusers across the globe.
Others on the list included three members of the Venezuelan military, the speaker of the parliament of the Russian region of Chechnya as well as the region’s Terek Special Rapid Response Unit.
The UK, which left the European Union in January, introduced its own sanctions system in July, identifying 49 “notorious” individuals and organisations accused of human rights abuses.
There are now 65 people on the UK sanctions list and three organisations.