"President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order (Order) today declaring a national emergency with respect to serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world," the release said, adding that the president "imposed sanctions on 13 serious human rights abusers and corrupt actors" as well as "an additional 39 affiliated individuals and entities."
Under the Global Magnitsky Act, Trump sanctioned Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of the former Uzbekistan leader Islam Karimova, as well as the son of Russia's prosecutor general, Artem Chayka. The sanctions also target Sergey Kusiuk, commander of the Berkut Ukrainian special police force.
In January, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said sanctions imposed by the Magnitsky Act amounted to an unjustified and politically motivated initiative after the United States added five Russian individuals to its Specially Designated Nationals list for alleged violations of the legislation.
Sergei Magnitsky was a Russian lawyer who revealed alleged corruption at the highest levels of the Russian government. He was detained in 2008 and accused of conspiracy and abatement for tax evasion. He died in the Matrosskaya Tishina pre-trial detention center in Moscow in 2009.