WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and John McCain (R-Ariz.), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following joint statement Thursday after the Trump Administration announced the first list of sanctions designations for international human rights abusers and corrupt individuals per the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act. Senators Cardin and McCain are the co-authors of the law:
“We wrote the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act last year because the United States must lead the world in using the power of our financial and legal institutions to hold human rights abusers and corrupt individuals accountable for their heinous crimes. We started advancing this important goal five years ago with the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law and Accountability Act, to hold accountable the Russian officials who tortured and killed Sergei as well as those who act with impunity throughout the country, violating the basic rights of the Russian people.
“In Sergei’s name, and in the spirit of the many unsung and unnamed individuals around the world who have suffered human rights abuse for uncovering corruption and fighting for freedom, the United States continues to support their efforts and seek accountability and justice with the Global Magnitsky sanctions out today.
“Thirteen people around the world have been targeted for their crimes today, as well as more than three dozen of their individual and organizational associates that fuel their criminal activities. While we would like to see a more geographically diverse and rigorous list going forward, including more of the individuals we highlighted to the Administration, overall we welcome this first edition of the Global Magnitsky list.
“In particular, we welcome the sanctioning of two individuals from Russia and Burma. Artem Chayka has used his position of familial privilege as the son of Russia’s Prosecutor General to steer government-contracting funds to his associates and punish competitors, fueling Russia’s widespread corruption. And Maung Maung Soe has played a leading role in the ethnic cleansing campaign Burma has carried out against the Rohingya people of Rakhine State.
“We thank the Administration for today’s announcement, and express our gratitude to the career professionals whose expertise and dedication to justice made today’s Global Magnitsky sanctions designations possible. We look forward to continuing to work with the Administration and the human rights community to end a global culture of impunity and ensure robust and comprehensive implementation of this landmark law.
“We will continue to conduct rigorous oversight of the Magnitsky laws to ensure that the United States remains a nation guided by its values and its respect for the rule of law.”