Posts Tagged ‘wto pntr’

June 2012

US: New Bill Sanctions Magnitsky Officials


The United States House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill on Thursday to impose sanctions on a group of Russian officials connected to the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian anti-graft lawyer who died in a Russian prison.

Magnitsky was arrested in November 2008 on charges of tax evasion, days after he accused Russian state tax authorities of participating in a $230 million tax refund fraud. He died a year later in a Moscow pre-trial detention center.

According to the US Committee of Foreign Affairs, the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 will impose “sanctions [visa ban and asset freeze] on those responsible for the harassment, abuse, and death of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who was murdered during his investigation of corruption in the Russian government.”

The bill was introduced in April, by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission co-chairman Jim McGovern.

The opponents of the bill expressed fears that the new legislation would have a negative effect on the US-Russia relations, and could harm US exports to Russia. The U.S. National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) urged the Congress on Wednesday to oppose the bill.

According to the NFTC President Bill Reinsch “The Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act is seriously flawed.” He adds that “This legislation would harm U.S. relations with Russia and many other nations, and would jeopardize the significant benefits arising from Russian concessions during its WTO accession negotiations.”

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