The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a bill last week that expands the Russia-centered Magnitsky Act of 2012.
The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (S. 1933) would impose sanctions on corrupt officials and human rights oppressors around the world. It would bar their entry into the United States and prohibit them from using U.S. financial institutions.
The Magnitsky Act of 2012 imposed visa sanctions and asset freezes on anyone responsible for the jailing and death of Russian anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, and those who benefited from the fraud he uncovered.
U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (Democrat-Maryland) and John McCain (Republican-Arizona) co-authored the global Magnitsky bill.
Cardin said it gives the United States “the tools to deter future abuses throughout the world.”
Under the original Magnitsky Act, 30 individuals have been sanctioned. They include Russian government officials and members of the Klyuev Crime Group implicated in the theft of $230 million of Russian public funds exposed by Magnitsky before he died in prison.
William Browder, whose London-based Hermitage Capital employed Magnitsky, has headed the global campaign to sanction those involved with his lawyer’s jailing and death.
Browder called the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act bill “a historic piece of legislation designed to deter and create consequences for those who are responsible for corruption and human rights violations around the world today.”
“Magnitsky sanctions are the new technology for fighting human rights abuse in the 21st century,” Browder said.
The bipartisan global Magnitsky bill will now go to the Senate floor.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.
If Senator McCain is co-author, then it is prima facie a bad bill and should be avoided at all costs. He may have been a prisoner of war survivor–and thereby a hero–but as a senator he has a long and consistent history of promoting incredibly bad legislation. Although I do not doubt his intentions are good, he is, none-the-less, consistent in his exhibition of bad judgment.
Maybe his intellectual deficiencies are the result of post traumatic shock syndrome from his captivity in prison for all those years. Regardless, the country would be better off if he quietly retired and maintained a successful image instead of continuing to demonstrate his failures and undermining the country however inadvertently.
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