July 30, 2015
30 July 2015 – Yesterday, in a landmark vote, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved “The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act,” paving the way for its approval for a full vote in the Senate. The Global Magnitsky Act extends the concept of personalised sanctions on kleptocrats and human rights violators around the world, giving hope to victims from any country where those abuses occurred.
“Sergei Magnitsky’s epic battle against evil, his faith in the law, and his ultimate sacrifice continue to empower and inspire lawmakers around the world to take concrete action and create real consequences for human rights abusers”, said William Browder, leader of the Magnitsky Justice campaign.
The new legislation is authored by U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who in 2010 together with Senator John McCain initiated the “Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act,” an innovative 21-century piece of legislation that for the first time has provided redress and a meaningful way to deter impunity for corruption and human rights abuses in Russia.
The Russia-specific Magnitsky bill became law in December 2012. Over 30 persons have been included on the public sanctions list since. Persons included on the sanctions list are publicly named on the federal register, prohibited from obtaining U.S. visas and subject to a freeze on all their U.S. assets and bank accounts.
The Global Magnitsky bill authorises the President to create similar consequences for persons involved in corruption, extrajudicial killings, torture and other human rights violations from all countries around the world.
“This is an important step in a long road of targeting human rights abusers and corrupt individuals around the globe who threaten the rule of law and deny human rights or fundamental freedoms,” said Senator Cardin.
The bill authorizes the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury to report annually to Congress regarding actions taken against human rights abusers. In determining the sanctions list, the President must consider requests made by the Chairperson and Ranking Member of one of a number of congressional committee.
For more information, please contact:
Magnitsky Justice Campaign
See also the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee press release on the passing of the Global Magnitsky Bill: