Congress Should Support 'Global Magnitsky’ Bill
In response to the introduction of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (S.284/H.R.624) in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), and in the House by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Freedom House issued the following statement:
“Freedom House welcomes a Global Magnitsky Act that offers a tested tool for the United States to hold corrupt officials and human rights abusers around the world accountable for their actions,” said Mark P. Lagon, president of Freedom House. “Under no circumstances should the United States allow those who commit these crimes to benefit from entering the United States or have access to our financial system. It is vital that the United States stand with human rights defenders in the fight against corruption and gross human rights violations.”
The legislation builds on the Russia-specific sanctions passed by Congress in 2012 in the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act (P.L.112-208), named after a Russian lawyer who died in jail after exposing widespread financial fraud by Russian officials. The new legislation would:
- Authorize the administration to identify foreign nationals responsible for significant corruption, extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of human rights committed against individuals seeking to promote human rights.
- Prohibit or revoke U.S. entry visas or other entry documentation for those foreign nationals.
- Freeze U.S. financial assets of those individuals and prohibit their use of the U.S. financial system.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.