As anticipated, EU foreign ministers have now signed off on powers to implement sanctions for human rights abuses.
The "Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy" gives the 27 EU member states powers to:
- Ban targeted people from travelling in Europe
- Freeze the assets of both officials and "entities'' like organisations, companies or banks
- Outlaw Europeans from making funds available to those engaged in serious human rights violations
Sanctions designations could be anticipated in early 2021.
Sanctions could be applied against acts like genocide, crimes against humanity, extrajudicial killings, and arbitrary arrests. Other violations could be punished if they are deemed to be "widespread, systematic or are otherwise of serious concern," the EU said in a statement.