The United States Treasury issued economic sanctions Tuesday against a Libyan national for alleged “human rights abuses against migrants in Libya,” the agency announced.
“Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, corresponding with an action by the United Nations Security Council, sanctioned Libyan national Osama Al Kuni Ibrahim (Al Kuni), who is responsible for serious human rights abuse against migrants in Libya,” the agency said in a press release Tuesday.
“Al Kuni is designated pursuant to Executive Order 13726 for being involved in, or having been involved in, the targeting of civilians through the commission of acts of violence, abduction, forced displacement, or attacks on schools, hospitals, religious sites, or locations where civilians are seeking refuge, or through conduct that would constitute a serious abuse or violation of human rights or a violation of international humanitarian law.”
According to the agency, Ibrahim was identified as the manager of the al-Nasir Detention Center in Zawiyah, Libya, where he is accused of being a “migrant-smuggling kingpin” exploiting African migrants and subjecting them to human rights abuses by enabling the killing, exploitation, extortion, and abuse of migrants in the camp.
“In view of sanctions imposed by the United Nations, Treasury is taking this action to promote accountability and expose the illicit activities of those abusing and exploiting migrants transiting Libya in pursuit of a better and more secure life,” Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, Andrea M. Gacki said in the release.
“We will continue to align with the international community by using sanctions and other tools to support the victims of such inhumane treatment and isolate those involved in such abuse of human rights. Treasury calls on Libya’s Government of National Unity to hold accountable Al Kuni and others perpetuating such abuse.”
The sanction blocks Ibrahim from using any property or financial interests he may have in the United States and further blocks any such interests held for him that are in the possession of a U.S. citizen.
Because he is also being sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council, other United Nations member states are also obligated to impose an asset freeze, and travel ban as well, the release said.
In a separate press release, Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on Libya to hold Ibrahim accountable for his actions.
“Today’s action promotes accountability and exposes the mistreatment, exploitation, and violence being perpetrated against vulnerable migrants transiting Libya in pursuit of a better life and follows Ibrahim’s designation yesterday at the United Nations,” Blinken said in the release.
“We will continue to work with the international community and use all the tools at our disposal to support victims and identify those involved in abuses of human rights. We call on Libya’s Government of National Unity to hold accountable Ibrahim and others perpetrating human rights abuses.”