Press Release

February 27, 2020
Cardin, Rubio Unveil Senate Resolution Calling for Russia to Release Political Prisoners
The bipartisan resolution "urges the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury to use their authority under the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 … to designate for the imposition of sanctions officials of the Government of the Russian Federation who are responsible for human rights abuses in the form of politically motivated imprisonment."

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), on the fifth anniversary of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemstov’s assassination, announced a resolution condemning Russia’s practice of politically motivated imprisonment and calling for the release of political prisoners in Russia. The resolution also urges the Trump Administration to use the tools provided by Congress to impose sanctions against Russian officials responsible for human rights abuses.

“The brazen assassination of Boris Nemstov is a reminder that all free people must stand up against those who would deny freedoms and basic rights to others. Imprisoned multiple times by the Putin government, Nemstov was the definition of courage and died defending the fundamental human rights of his fellow citizens,” said Senator Cardin, author of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act. “On this day, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those unjustly imprisoned in Russia. We urge the release of political prisoners being held in violation of international law. We must condemn Russian human rights abuses and we must punish those responsible.”

The Senators serve as Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues and are Commissioners on the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission.

Additional cosponsors include Chris Coons (D-Del.), Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.).

The full text of the resolution can be found at this link.