The Magnitsky Act has been a crucial subject of the Russia investigations, with the euphemism of “adoption” used even by Trump to veil the real topic of the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump’s team a Russian lawyer and other Russians connected to the Kremlin. Now the Magnitsky Act, rather than being repealed, as Putin would dearly love, is being implemented in Canada too. It’s a tremendous victory for Bill Browder, the Head of Global Magnitsky Justice campaign.
The story of Sergei Magnitsky inspired the Magnitsky act: a lawyer for Bill Browder who died in 2009 after a year of torture in a Russian jail for his discovery of Russian tax fraud.
BREAKING: Canadian Senate unanimously passes Magnitsky Act against human rights violators worldwide. This is Sergei Magnitsky’s legacy
— Bill Browder (@Billbrowder) October 17, 2017
The Magnisky Act imposes sanctions on Russian officials and others guilty of human rights violations, and Putin has repeatedly tried to have it repealed, possibly even going so far as to arrange a meeting with Trump Jr. There is new evidence that the Russian lawyer, Veselnitskaya, was acting as a direct “agent of the Kremlin.”
James Bezan, Member of Parliament in Canada, said it was “Another example of Canada’s commitment to global Human Rights.” They have finally approved the “Law on Victims of Corrupt Foreign Governments.”
— James Bezan (@jamesbezan) October 17, 2017
Reuters reported that Russia already had plans to retaliate before the anticipated passage of the Magnitsky bill in Canada. Spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said Russia would respond in a tit for tat manner, and that they find the Magnitsky law “odious.”
“We warn again that in case the pressure of the sanctions put on us increases … we will widen likewise the list of Canadian officials banned from entering Russia,” Zakharova said, according to Interfax.
The Magnitsky Act combats human rights violations by hitting those corrupt people in the wallet. It freezes access to funds in Western banks, real estate, and bans their entry into the country. After all, what’s the use of hoarding cash illegally if you can’t spend it? That’s why it hits corrupt Oligarchs so hard and why Putin is determined to have it removed. It follows them anywhere they go in the world.
Bill Browder also noted that today, Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, is being asked by two U.S. Representatives to use his authority under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act to ban visas for certain Guatemalan officials accused of “facilitating acts of corruption.”
For more insight into the Magnitsky Act, watch this video of Bill Browder’s testimony below:
Featured image: Screenshot via YouTube