WASHINGTON - The United States sanctioned two Iraqi militia leaders and two former Iraqi provincial governors it accused of human rights abuses and corruption, the U.S. Treasury Department said Thursday.
The sanctions targeted militia leaders Rayan al-Kildani and Waad Qado and former governors Nawfal Hammadi al-Sultan and Ahmed al-Jubouri, the department said in a statement.
"We will continue to hold accountable persons associated with serious human rights abuse, including persecution of religious minorities, and corrupt officials who exploit their positions of public trust to line their pockets and hoard power at the expense of their citizens," Sigal Mandelker, Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said.
The department said many of the actions that prompted the sanctions occurred in "areas where persecuted religious communities are struggling to recover from the horrors inflicted on them" by Islamic State, the militant group that controlled parts of Iraq for several years.
The Treasury Department said Kildani is the leader of the 50th Brigade militia and is shown cutting off the ear of a handcuffed detainee in a video circulating in Iraq last year.
It said Qado is the leader of the 30th Brigade militia, which engaged in extortion, illegal arrests and kidnappings. Sultan and Jubouri were designated for being engaged in corruption, including the misappropriation of state assets, and other misdeeds, the department said.
Iraq in March issued a warrant for the arrest of Sultan, the former governor of Nineveh province, on corruption charges after at least 90 people were killed in a ferry accident in the provincial capital, Mosul.
As a result of the designation, any property the four persons hold in the United States would be blocked and U.S. persons are barred from business dealings with them.