UK House of Commons Starts Considering New Magnitsky Bill


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Earlier, UK lawmakers passed an amendment, inspired by the Magnitsky case, to the country’s Criminal Finances Bill, which provides for UK asset seizures for human rights abusers.

LONDON (Sputnik) — The UK House of Commons on Wednesday begun its consideration of a new Magnitsky-style bill, which envisages visa bans and asset freezes for individuals involved in human rights abuse and corruption, according to a statement by the lower house of the UK parliament.

“MPs approve the Ten Minute Rule Motion on Sanctions (Human Rights Abuse and Corruption). The Bill is scheduled to have its Second Reading on 23 February 2018,” a message on the House of Commons’ Twitter account read.

The bill was introduced by member of parliament Ian Austin and will affect people who are not citizens of the United Kingdom or living within the European Economic Area.

“Here in the UK… [lawmakers] introduced the Magnitsky amendment to the Criminal Finances Bill, which introduced the asset freezing element… passed with cross-party support earlier this year. But there is still no legislation that deals with visa bans for human rights violators… So my proposals will go much further and give the government powers to sanction individuals, found guilty of corruption and human rights abuse, with visa bans, asset freezes and public placement on the list of banned foreign criminals,” Austin said, speaking at the House of Commons meeting earlier in the day.

Austin noted that legislation imposing visa bans and asset freezes on those allegedly involved in Magnitsky’s death and human rights abuses elsewhere had been already passed in the United States, Canada, Estonia and Lithuania. He added that similar bills were being developed in France, South Africa, Ukraine and Gibraltar.

Sergei Magnitsky was a Hermitage Capital Management lawyer, who had been arrested in Moscow on tax evasion charges and died in custody in 2009. The United States adopted a Magnitsky Act in 2012 that imposed travel bans and asset freezes on Russians allegedly involved in his death.

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Source: Sputnik News

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