The US has imposed sanctions on the chief of Uganda’s prison service, Johnson Byabashaija who is accused of overseeing the abuse and torture of LGBT+ people as well as critics of the government.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned Johnson Byabashaija for his involvement in serious human rights abuses since 2005.
Prisoners have reported being tortured and beaten by Uganda Prisons Service (UPS) staff and by fellow prisoners at the direction of UPS staff. Members of vulnerable groups, including government critics and members of Uganda’s LGBTQI+ community, have been beaten and held without access to legal counsel.
He loses all property + money he holds in the USA or banks it controls.
A total of 20 people from several countries around the world have been sanctioned for human rights abuses.
Among them is Jefferson Koijee, the mayor of Liberia’s capital Monrovia. The US accuses him of controlling paramilitary-style organisations associated with his CDC party.
Also placed on the sanctions list are three militia leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo: William Yakutumba of the Mai-Mai and the CNPSC, Willy Ngoma who is a spokesman of the M23 rebel group, and Michel Rukunda of the Twirwaneho armed group.
In the Central African Republic, the former president’s son, Jean-Francis Bozizé, is accused of importing weapons for the CPC rebel group. His compatriot Mahamat Salleh is a CPC commander who is accused of raping girls and forcing them into sexual slavery.
In South Sudan, county commissioners Gordon Koang Biel and Gatluak Nyang Hoth are accused of allowing “government-aligned forces and allied militias” to systematically rape woman and children “as an incentive and reward”.
They have been sanctioned alongside Joseph Mantiel Wajang, the governor in Unity State who the US says appointed both men into those positions of power despite the serious accusations against them.
They and all others named on Friday’s list will not be able to enter the US or have financial dealings with US citizens or companies.
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