Thomas Mayne

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Activists and Kazakhstani diaspora protest against human rights violations in Kazakhstan outside the country's embassy in London, England. Photo by Guy Smallman/Getty images.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s ‘shoot to kill’ order during the recent unrest in Kazakhstan and numerous press reports exposing the corruption of the country’s ruling elite provides an excellent opportunity for the UK government to use its new sanctions regime on individuals.

January’s civil unrest in Kazakhstan – resulting in at least 225 deaths – is a tragedy inflicted on the Kazakhstani people by a repressive kleptocratic regime. The UK government should react to this brutality and corruption by taking a stand about the importance of human rights and the rule of law.

One of the main tools at the UK government’s disposal is the use of sanctions against individuals.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Pandora Papers website as displayed on a smartphone. Photo Illustration by Mykola Tys/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.

In response to the recent revelations of the Pandora Papers, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak claimed the UK is one of the best in the world at tackling money laundering – a debatable claim given, while the UK laws are robust, enforcement of them is often lacking.

But Sunak’s point misses the main issue anyway, because the majority of the Pandora stories are not about money laundering – the transference of illicit funds – but the proceeds of grand corruption or ‘kleptocracy’.

Such proceeds may include some illegal funds but most is money which is technically earned ‘legally’.…  Seguir leyendo »