August 11, 2017

Cardin, McCain Prod Trump Administration to Use Global Magnitsky Tools to Punish Human Rights Violators and Corrupt Officials from Around the World

If you violate the human rights and civil liberties of others, the United States will hold you accountable

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and John McCain (R-Ariz.), Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, authors of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights and Accountability Act (P.L. 114-328), have written to President Trump requesting that his Administration vet and determine whether 20 individuals and entities from across the globe meet the criteria to be sanctioned in accordance with the Global Magnitsky Act.

The Global Magnitsky Human Rights and Accountability Act, which became law with passage of the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act last December, authorizes the President to impose visa and asset sanctions on foreign individuals responsible for gross violations of human rights against rights defenders and government officials or their associates who have engaged in significant acts of corruption. The Global Magnitsky Act also requires the submission of reports to Congress with relevant updates to the list of sanctioned individuals and entities, as well as responses to Congressional requests for specific sanctions investigations.

“Congress has provided the Administration with a list of some of the most egregious human rights and corruption cases in the world for review. Now the President must act quickly to delegate authority to the Secretary of the Treasury or the Secretary of State to lead the investigations into these cases,” said Senator Cardin. “Working together, we can ensure that gross violators of human rights and those who engage in significant acts of corruption do not escape the consequences of their actions even when their home country fails to act.”

"The United States must send a clear message: if you violate the human rights of others or engage in significant acts of corruption, you will be held accountable," said Senator McCain. "It's critical the administration use the tools at its disposal to fully investigate these cases and ensure human rights offenders and corrupt officials from around the world are brought to justice."

Cardin and McCain are asking the President to investigate cases involving 13 individuals or entities from nine geographically diverse countries for gross violations of human rights and seven individuals or entities from six geographically diverse countries for acts of significant corruption. They also are urging the President to move swiftly to delegate the appropriate agency to begin fully implementing the law. Copies of the letter were sent to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin. Both of their departments have responsibilities under the Global Magnitsky Law.

To allow for full and complete vetting, the names of the individuals and entities recommended for sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Law will remain confidential throughout the review process.

###