Global Magnitsky Bill Introduced in the Canadian Parliament

June 15, 2015

12 June 2015 – Irwin Cotler, Canadian MP, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and chair of the Justice for Sergei Magnitsky Inter-Parliamentary Group, has introduced the Global Magnitsky Bill to the Canadian parliament. The bill, entitled the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act [C-689], calls for sanctions on international human rights violators anywhere in the world, and is similar to the U.S. Global Magnitsky bill currently making its way through the U.S. Congress.

Explaining his new bill, Irwin Cotler MP said:
“The victims of human-rights violations in Russia and around the world… and the courageous activists who stand up to rights-violating regimes at great personal risk – were on my mind when I rose on Tuesday in the House to present my legislation… Countries that value human rights and the rule of law must use the measures at our disposal to hold violators to account and discourage future violations. Otherwise, we are exposed as having far less concern for these noble principles than our usual rhetoric.”

Introducing the legislation, Irwin Cotler MP paid an emotional tribute to his friend and advocate of Magnitsky sanctions legislation, Boris Nemtsov, who was assassinated near the Kremlin in Moscow three months ago.

“I could almost feel the presence of my late friend Boris Nemtsov, the leader of the democratic Russian opposition who was murdered near the Kremlin earlier this year,” said Irwin Cotler.

Boris Nemtsov publicly supported Irwin Cotler in 2012 when the Magnitsky legislation was first introduced in the Canadian parliament.
“Magnitsky was killed by prosecutors and prison management…Putin government supported the murderers… The idea of the [Magnitsky] Act is to implement sanctions against absolutely concrete corrupt officials and people who are responsible for killing Magnitsky,” said Boris Nemtsov.

“As a country with the low level of corruption and rule of law, Canada has to fight against criminals and against corruption. You are not against Russia, you are against corruption, against criminals. It will be very painful for Russian corrupt bureaucracy to get such kind of law from Canada. Very painful. Because corrupt system in Russia means that they have property outside of the country, they relax outside the country, they send their kids to get education outside…”

(Listen to the full speech by Boris Nemtsov in Canada in 2012, starting after introduction at 4 min.:

In March this year, the Canadian House of Commons unanimously supported the initiative to introduce Magnitsky sanctions on individual human-rights violators, including those involved in the 2009 detention, torture and murder of Sergei Magnitsky. A similar motion was adopted in the Canadian Senate a few weeks later. Yet, the Canadian Government has not acted on the call from parliamentarians.

“There is still time for the [Canadian] government to either take over my bill or to introduce similar legislation of its own, out of respect for the unanimous will of Canadian MPs, and out of solidarity with the victims of human-rights violations and those who struggle valiantly on their behalf, in Russia and around the world,” said Irwin Cotler, MP.

For more information, please contact:
Magnitsky Justice Campaign
+44 2074401777
Twitter: @KatieFisher__

Video of Irwin Cotler MP introducing the Global Magnitsky Bill in the Canadian Parliament:

New Canadian Global Magnitsky Bill, C-689: “An Act to enact the Global Human Rights Accountability Act and to make related amendments to the Special Economic Measures Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act”

Original 2012 Canadian Magnitsky Bill, C-339: “An Act to condemn corruption and impunity in Russia in the case and death of Sergei Magnitsky”

The Justice for Sergei Magnitsky Inter-Parliamentary Group website:


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