In this year’s commemoration of International Human Rights Day, the US OFAC officially announced Chechen Leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s inclusion in the sanction list. As Kadyrov’s reputation as a human rights abuser precedes him, the announcement also serves as warning to American MMA fighters who participate in Kadyrov’s Absolute Championship Akhmat (ACA) events.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury Department, in relation to its role as government agency designated to administer and enforce trade and economic sanctions against foreign countries, regimes, companies, terrorists, international drug traffickers, groups, entities and individuals engaged human rights abuse, added Chechen Leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s name and assets to the list of “Specially Designated Nationals” (SDNs) and Blocked Persons prohibited from conducting activities of whatever nature in the U.S.
That being the case, Kadyrov, his assets and his interests, including the ACA, are subject to economic and trade sanctions imposed in accordance with U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives. The designation also denotes prohibiting U.S. citizens from dealing with Kadyrov and the entities or companies forming part of his assets.
Actually, several other individuals widely known as perpetrators of human right abuse in countries across the Middle East, Western Hemisphere and Eurasia had been added to the list of SDNs. The gesture is meant to show that the U.S. stands with innocent civilians who have been victims of acts of oppression and violence that have been taking place across the globe.
Who is Ramzan Kadyrov?
Ramzan Kadyrov, who through Russian President Putin’s backing, became the Head of Chechen Republic. He is also the founder/leader of an organization called Kadyrovtsy whose members have engaged in numerous violations and serious abuses of human rights under Kadyrov’s command.
The Kadyrovtsy has been responsible for the extrajudicial killings, abductions and tortures of activists, journalists and other innocent civilians including members of the Chechen Republic’s LGBTQ population. Many of whom sought to expose the illegal activities of Russian government officials, as well as defend, exercise or seek human rights freedom to express, associate, assemble, choose religion and to have fair trial and democratic election under the Russian Federation.
Known for his fascination over mixed martial arts competitions, Kadyrov acquired the World Fighting Championship Akhmat (WFCA) and merged it with the Absolute Championship Berkut into becoming the Absolute Championship Akhmat (ACA) where several of UFC’s biggest stars have been invited to participate in ACA events hosted in Grozny, Russia.
ACA is a leading European promoter of mixed martial arts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and kickboxing combat sports, which the OFAC accounted as one of Kadyrov’s numerous assets. it follows that U.S. citizens, business organizations and other entities, specifically American MMA fighters are prohibited from dealing, participating or associating with any ACA officials and in any ACA event.