Today, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) joined Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and several of his colleagues to introduce legislation that would reauthorize the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act. This law, which went into effect in 2016, provides the president with the authority to leverage economic sanctions against any party responsible for “gross violations of internationally recognized human rights” against human rights defenders or individuals exposing government corruption. The current authorization is set to expire this December.
“Magnitsky sanctions are a valuable tool in our arsenal for punishing bad actors around the world, and it’s another way the U.S. can support brave men and women who speak out and fight against human rights violations. We must reauthorize this law without delay,” Grassley said.
“Over the past six years, Global Magnitsky sanctions have been an invaluable tool used by our government to protect the vulnerable and punish bad actors who pose a threat to global peace and security,” Rubio said. “This carefully crafted and bipartisan law empowered two different administrations to hold human rights violators accountable. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this crucial reauthorization.”
The proposal would reauthorize the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act for twelve years, until December 31, 2034.
Grassley has called for Magnitsky sanctions to be considered for China’s human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities. The law stems from the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012, which authorized sanctions against a group of Russians responsible for a particularly egregious case of human rights abuse. It is reported that Vladimir Putin detests the law, while the late pro-democracy leader Boris Nemtsov, who was killed likely on Putin’s orders, called the Magnitsky Act “the most pro-Russian law in the history of any foreign Parliament” because it targets those in the Putin regime who oppress Russian citizens.