Magnitsky Amendment to Serious Crime Bill Introduced in the British Parliament

February 23, 2015

Magnitsky Amendment to Serious Crime Bill Introduced in the British Parliament


23 February 2015 – Dominic Raab MP and a group of 22 members of the British parliament from across all parties have submitted an amendment to the Serious Crime Bill, entitled the ‘Magnitsky Amendment’. Co-sponsors of the Magnitsky amendment include no less than seven current Committee Chairs including Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP (Home Affairs Committee), Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP (Public Accounts Committee) and Rt Hon Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP (Intelligence & Security Committee).


The Magnitsky Amendment will require the government to publish the names of foreign citizens who are not allowed to enter the UK due to their involvement in money laundering, serious organized crime, torture and gross human rights abuses.


The Magnitsky Amendment aims to ensure greater transparency concerning individuals who have been denied entry to the United Kingdom. It builds on the recommendation adopted by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the British Parliament in its report reviewing the government’s human rights policies, which urged the publication of names of individuals banned from entering the UK due to their involvement in the Magnitsky case.

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The Magnitsky Amendment is also aimed to harmonize British legislation with the U.S. Magnitsky Act of 2012, which requires the US Government to publish a list of persons banned from entry to the United States because of involvement in corruption, including the corrupt criminal conspiracy uncovered by late Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, responsible for Magnitsky’s torture and death in Russian custody, and other gross human rights abuses. At the moment, the US government has named 32 individuals banned from entering the United States under the U.S. Magnitsky Act.


Explaining the Magnitsky Amendment, Esher & Walton MP Dominic Raab said:


The British public doesn’t want the henchmen of murderers and torturers, or their bagmen, slipping through UK border controls, buying up luxury apartments in Kensington, sending their kids to public school here and generally enjoying the high life. Parliament has a chance to make sure people know who is being banned from entering Britain, ensure basic moral principle trumps expediency, and send a message that we’re an open and tolerant country – but not for those with blood on their hands or dirty money in their pockets.”


Rt Hon Sir Menzies Campbell QC MP, said: “This amendment would put paid to those whose serious criminal acts abroad do not prevent them from visiting the United Kingdom. It is intolerable that people whose behaviour falls so far short of a proper respect for the sanctity of life and democratic principles should be able to visit Great Britain without hindrance.


William Browder, leader of the Magnitsky justice campaign and author of the best-selling book, ‘Red Notice: How I Became Putin’s Number One Enemy’ said, “At the moment we can’t prosecute the people who killed Sergei Magnitsky and commit other abuses in Russia because Putin protects them, but Britain shouldn’t let these people into the UK and the government should make it publicly known that they are not welcome here.”


The full list of co-sponsors of the amendment:


Dominic Raab MP
Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chairman, Home Affairs Committee

Rt Hon Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP, Chair, Intelligence & Security Committee
Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair, Public Accounts Committee
John Wittingdale MP, Chair, Culture, Media & Sport
Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chair, Health Committee
Charles Walker MP, Chair, Procedure Committee
David Davies MP, Chair, Welsh Affairs Committee

Rt Hon Sir Menzies Campbell QC MP
Sir Edward Garnier QC MP
RT Hon Norman Baker MP
Rt Hon Ben Bradshaw MP
Tessa Munt MP
Steve Barclay MP
Sir Peter Bottomley MP
Andrew Rosindell MP
Tim Loughton MP
Nick de Bois MP
Zac Goldsmith MP
Dr Julian Lewis MP
Dr Phillip Lee MP
Jacob Rees-Mogg MP


Sergei Magnitsky was a lawyer for the Hermitage Fund, the largest foreign portfolio investor in Russia. In 2008, he uncovered how a group of Russian officials and criminals stole three investment companies from his client and $230 million they had paid in taxes to the Russian government. Russian officials exposed by Sergei Magnitsky had him arrested on false charges. He was kept in detention for 358 days and killed on 16 November 2009. Russian officials involved in his case were promoted and given state honours in Russia. In the United States, they have been sanctioned under the United States Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, which denies them U.S. visa and blocks their assets in U.S. financial institutions.


The struggle for justice in Magnitsky case is described in the thriller by Bill Browder, Red Notice, which has reached No 8 on New York Times best-seller list in the first two weeks since its launch and No 9 on the Sunday Times best seller list in the UK.



For more information, please contact:


Magnitsky Justice Campaign

+44 2074401777




Twitter: @KatieFisher__



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