Press release

Freedom House Urges Congress to Reauthorize and Fund Global Magnitsky Sanctions Before End of Year

These powerful sanctions enjoy broad bipartisan support in Congress, across presidential administrations, and throughout civil society. They should be fully funded in the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) appropriations bills and reauthorized in the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Without reauthorization, the Global Magnitsky Act will sunset in December 2022.

As Congress works to finalize the FY22 NDAA and FY22 appropriations bills, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act is one of the United States’ most powerful foreign policy tools for addressing corruption and human rights abuses, particularly in nations with weak rule of law,” said Annie Boyajian, vice president for policy and advocacy at Freedom House. “These powerful sanctions enjoy broad bipartisan support in Congress, across presidential administrations, and throughout civil society. Reauthorizing the Global Magnitsky Act in this year’s NDAA is the only way to ensure these effective sanctions will be reauthorized before the law ceases to have effect at the end of next year. Additionally, dedicated funding for the implementation and enforcement of Global Magnitsky sanctions in this year’s appropriations bills is necessary to support the large number of potential sanctions cases waiting to be vetted by the executive branch. We urge Congress to take action to ensure Global Magnitsky sanctions can be as impactful in the future as they have proven to be today.”

Background

Since the Global Magnitsky Act was signed into law in 2016, targeted sanctions have been imposed on more than 300 human rights abusers, corrupt actors, and associated entities in nearly 40 countries.

Earlier this year, nearly 80 organizations joined Freedom House in signing letters calling on Congress to include the reauthorization of Global Magnitsky sanctions in the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act and funding for the implementation and enforcement of sanctions in the FY22 appropriations bills that fund the three principal agencies tasked with the implementation and enforcement of Global Magnitsky sanctions: the Department of State, Department of the Treasury, and Department of Justice.

Without reauthorization, the Global Magnitsky Act will sunset in December 2022.

Since Fiscal Year 2020, Congress has consistently provided funding for Global Magnitsky implementation and enforcement at the Department of the Treasury and Department of State and has directed the Department of Justice to ensure adequate personnel for this purpose. Unfortunately, the number of suspected perpetrators to review for potential sanction continues to outpace the vetting capacity of staff at each of these agencies.