Official Statement by the Canadian Government.
Today, on the eve of Human Rights Day, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced that Canada is imposing measures on those complicit in gross and systematic human rights violations in Russia, Iran and Myanmar.
The fundamental rights and freedoms of all people must be respected. As a strong defender of equality and human rights, Canada is committed to addressing the most pressing challenges of our time. This is why, as of today, Canada is imposing measures against a total of 67 individuals and 9 entities that are complicit in human rights violations around the world.
Under the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations, Canada is imposing sanctions against 33 current or former senior officials and 6 entities involved in gross and systematic human rights violations against Russian citizens who protest against the Russian regime’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and anti-democratic policies.
Under the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations, Canada is imposing sanctions on 22 individuals who are complicit in gross and systematic human rights violations in Iran. This includes senior members of the Iranian judiciary, prison system and law enforcement forces, as well as political leaders, such as senior aides to the regime’s Supreme Leader and senior figures in state-directed media outlets.
And under the Special Economic Measures (Burma) Regulations, Canada is imposing sanctions against 12 individuals and 3 entities who perform key functions on behalf of the Myanmar military regime, are responsible for democratic reversals, facilitate arms flows to the regime and enable the regime’s violence, including against civilians.
Canada and its international partners will continue to coordinate efforts to promote justice and maintain pressure on those around the world who systematically violate the most basic human rights and freedoms.
“Dignity, freedom and justice are pillars of Canada’s foreign policy. As the world witnesses the trampling of human rights of people in places such as Russia, Iran and Myanmar, we are reminded that we can only create change by standing up and defending the values that we hold dear. There is more work to be done, but Canada will never stop standing up for human rights.”
– Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Since Russia’s illegal occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea in 2014, Canada has imposed sanctions on more than 2,100 individuals and entities. Many of these sanctions have been undertaken in coordination with Canada’s allies and partners.
- Since Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Canada has imposed sanctions on more than 1,500 additional individuals and entities from and in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
- On October 7, 2022, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland announced Canada’s intent to implement several new measures in response to Iran’s ongoing human rights violations and threats to regional peace and security, including:
- expanding sanctions against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and introducing a new tailored regulation to ensure no sanctioned individual connected to the IRGC can enter Canada, pending the passage of Bill S-8;
- investing $76 million to strengthen Canada’s capacity to implement sanctions and ensure the government can move more quickly to freeze and seize sanctioned individuals’ assets, including through a dedicated bureau at Global Affairs Canada and additional support for the RCMP to investigate and identify assets and gather evidence; and
- pursue all the tools at the government’s disposal, including the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, which enables restrictive financial and property measures for foreign nationals responsible for gross and systematic violations of human rights.
- Canada has had comprehensive sanctions against Myanmar in place under the Special Economic Measures (Burma) Regulations since 2007, including an arms embargo and a dealings ban on listed persons, targeting both entities and individuals. Canada imposed 2 subsequent rounds of sanctions in response to the 2017 Rohingya crisis. In response to the military coup in February 2021, Canada has now imposed 6 further rounds of sanctions.
Sources: Nouvelles THX & Gouvernement du Canada.