Ghost of Trump: Global Magnitsky Annex Used on Advisor to the Iraqi Prime Minister for his Role in Violence Against Iraqis
On Friday the US Department of State released the following statement:
Today, the United States is designating Falih al-Fayyadh, Chairman of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Commission (PMC) and former National Security Advisor to the Iraqi Prime Minister, for his role in violence against Iraqi protesters in 2019. Al-Fayyadh is being designated pursuant to Executive Order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.
During protests beginning in October 2019, Iran-aligned PMC forces attacked Iraqi civilians protesting against corruption, unemployment, economic stagnation, poor public services, and Iranian interference in Iraq’s domestic affairs.
Al-Fayyadh was the head of the PMC when its forces fired live ammunition at protesters resulting in the deaths of Iraqi civilians. Al-Fayyadh was also a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Force Qods Force (IRGC-QF) supported crisis cell that included previously sanctioned militia leaders Qais al-Khazali and Hussein Falah al-Lami, as well as the now-deceased IRGC-QF commander Qasem Soleimani and PMC deputy leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Iran-aligned PMC forces continue to wage a murderous campaign against political activists in Iraq who are calling for free and fair elections, respect for human rights, and transparent and accountable governance. Many of these elements have established fictitious organizational cover names to hide their culpability for ongoing attacks against the Iraqi state. Today’s action is a clear message that the United States stands with the Iraqi people in their pursuit of freedom, justice, and democracy.
Executive Order Updated 2017 by President Donald J. Trump
Arab Weekly reported on the matter:
“The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on an Iraqi militia leader and former national security adviser, connecting him to human rights abuses during the 2019 anti-government demonstrations in which hundreds of protesters were killed.
The US Treasury Department said in a statement it was blacklisting Falih al-Fayyadh, chairman of the Iraqi Hashed al-Shaabi or Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF).
The PMF, an umbrella group of mostly Shia militias, was formed in 2014 to counter the Islamic State (ISIS) group, following a fatwa from Iraq’s top Shia cleric Ali al-Sistani.
The growing influence of the Shia group over Iraqi state affairs — in particular its Iran-backed elements — has alarmed US officials.
On Friday, the Treasury accused Fayyadh of being part of a crisis cell formed in late 2019 to suppress protests with the support of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, which is blacklisted by the United States.
Washington said al-Fayyadh was the head of the PMF when forces under its command fired live ammunition at peaceful protesters in 2019, resulting in hundreds of deaths.
Fayyadh was targeted under the Magnitsky Act, passed by Congress in 2012 initially in response to the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in prison after exposing a tax fraud scheme involving Russian officials. The law named after him was expanded and allows the US to target any foreigner accused of human rights violations and corruption.”
According to the EO, signed by Trump, he added an “Annex”:
I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, find that the prevalence and severity of human rights abuse and corruption that have their source, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, such as those committed or directed by persons listed in the Annex to this order, have reached such scope and gravity that they threaten the stability of international political and economic systems. Human rights abuse and corruption undermine the values that form an essential foundation of stable, secure, and functioning societies; have devastating impacts on individuals; weaken democratic institutions; degrade the rule of law; perpetuate violent conflicts; facilitate the activities of dangerous persons; and undermine economic markets. The United States seeks to impose tangible and significant consequences on those who commit serious human rights abuse or engage in corruption, as well as to protect the financial system of the United States from abuse by these same persons.
I, therefore, determine that serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.
TIES TO OBAMA
According to the Hoover Institute Al-Fayyadh has the following ties to former President Barack Obama through the Hoover Institute:
“Iraqi National Security Adviser Falih al-Fayyadh Visits Hoover
John LeSchofs, Stanford Visual Arts
Iraqi national security adviser Falih al-Fayyadh visited the Hoover Institution from Monday, October 24 to Tuesday, October 25, 2011. Al-Fayyadh met with Taube Director of the Hoover Institution John Raisian, Hoover fellows (including William J. Perry, David Brady, Victor Davis Hanson, Stephen Krasner, Henry Rowen, Amy Zegart), and Stanford faculty for a roundtable luncheon discussion. Discussion ranged from Iraqi relations with Iran, Turkey, and Israel to the role of the United States in Iraq going forward, particularly in light of President Obama’s announcement of US troop withdrawal from Iraq.
Richard Sousa, senior associate director and director of the library and archives, along with Lisa Nguyen, curator of the East Asian collection, gave Al-Fayyadh a tour of the Hoover Institution. In the afternoon, Al-Fayyadh met with Sousa, Nguyen, and Hoover staff to review and discuss current and future cooperation between the Iraqi government and the Hoover Institution.
Falih al-Fayyadh was appointed by Prime Minister Maliki in January 2011. He has been a member since 1973 of the Dawa Party, the current ruling party. Al-Fayyadh is director of National Reconciliation; president of the Supreme Committee for the security, communications, and information; vice-chairman of the National Coordination of Intelligence; and deputy minister of state for national security affairs.