December 13, 2021
Cited article by Al Jazeera
The EU is imposing sanctions against a Russian private military contractor (PMC) known as Wagner. Additionally, these sanctions are affecting eight other individuals and three energy companies located in Syria that allegedly have been assisting in financing mercenaries in Ukraine, Libya, and Syria. The sanctions being implemented are in response to human rights abuses that the Wagner contractors carried out, along with alleged clandestine operations on behalf of the Kremlin.
In the official journal, the EU states, “The Wagner Group is responsible for serious human rights abuses in Ukraine, Syria, Libya, the Central African Republic, Sudan and Mozambique,” and specifically highlights that the group committed torture and extrajudicial killings. Official statements from Russia claim the group did not represent the country. Sanctions are meant to limit the group's ability for international travel, and freeze assets in order to prevent governments from working with the group.
HRRC condemns the human rights abuses being carried out by PMCs worldwide. These contracted groups have a troubling history, and are most notably utilized by Russia and the United States. Contracts that are ambiguous in scope allow groups like Wagner to operate independently, and thus increase the possibility for serious legal and human rights violations per their course of action.