Magnitsky Sanctions Legislation Introduced in the Lithuanian Parliament

April 20, 2017

Press Release

For Immediate Distribution


Magnitsky Sanctions Legislation Introduced in the Lithuanian Parliament

20 April 2017 – Today, Magnitsky sanctions legislation has been introduced in the Lithuanian Parliament.

The Lithuania’s Magnitsky bill refuses entry to Lithuania to persons who have been involved in human rights abuses, money laundering and corruption.

The bill is the initiative of Gabrielius Landsbergis, MP, Chairman of the Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats, and is co-sponsored by twenty other members of the Lithuanian Parliament from all major political groups, including Farmers and Greens, Social Democrats, Homeland Union -Christian Democrats, and the Liberals.

Mr Landsbergis said of the Magnitsky initiative:

“The impunity of foreign persons who perpetrate gross human rights violations, participate in money laundering or corruption should not be tolerated just because the justice system and the rule of law is corrupted in an undemocratic country, as the Magnitsky case has shown. It is important to let perpetrators know in advance that such crimes are not tolerated in Lithuania and that such people will not be allowed to enter our country. Our Magnitsky law is universal, just as human rights themselves.”

“I hope that more democratic countries in Europe will follow suit, and that finally we will have EU-level sanctions in this regard, just as the European Parliament has called for,” said Mr Landsbergis.

The proposed Magnitsky legislation seeks to amend Article 133 of the Lithuanian Law on the Legal Status of Aliens.

It would ban an alien from entering the Republic of Lithuania if there is information or good reason to believe that the person participated in or contributed to large-scale corruption or money laundering, or to violations of human rights, which resulted in the death or serious injury of a person, the unfounded conviction of a person based on political motives, or other serious negative consequences.

The Magnitsky legislation is proposed as a result of the case of Sergei Magnitsky in Russia which has become emblematic of the human rights abuse for the financial benefit of corrupt government officials.

In 2008, Sergei Magnitsky uncovered a $230 million tax theft committed by Russian state officials, but when he implicated the officials involved, he himself was arrested, unjustly imprisoned for 358 days, tortured and beaten to death in detention center on November 16th, 2009 at the age of 37, leaving a wife and two children.

The Campaign for Justice for Sergei Magnitsky has been vigorously pursued by his former colleagues, which has led to the US Congress passing the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Accountability Act in 2012, and the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act in 2016.

In December 2016, the Estonian Parliament unanimously passed its own Magnitsky Law denying entry to Estonia to human rights abusers.

This year, the UK Parliament has begun consideration of the Magnitsky legislation imposing the financial sanction on human rights abusers in the form of assets forfeiture. The UK’s Magnitsky assets sanctions legislation has been passed by the House of Commons and is being currently considered in the House of Lords.

Main sponsor of the Lithuanian Magnitsky bill:

–       Gabrielius Landsbergis, Leader of TS-LKD Group in Seimas, Chairman of TS-LKD, he also served as Member of the European Parliament in the European People’s Party.

Among other co-sponsors of the Lithuanian Magnitsky bill:

–       Mr Vytautas Bakas, Lithuania’s Farmers and Greens Union, Chair of the National Security and Defence Committee, member of the Anti-Corruption Commission.

–       Mr  Juozas Bernatonis, Social Democrats party, Chair of the of Foreign Affairs Committee, he also served as chief adviser under Prime Minister Kirkilas and as a Ministry of Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to the Republic of Estonia.

–       Ms Aušrinė Armonaitė, Liberals Movement party, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

The events of the Magnitsky case are described in the international best-seller “Red Notice” by William Browder and in a series of Magnitsky justice campaign videos on the YouTube channel, “Russian Untouchables.”

For more information, please contact:

Justice for Sergei Magnitsky

44 207 440 1777





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