Press Release

June 26, 2012
Cardin Says Magnitsky Act Is Closer to Becoming Law After Senate Committee Approval
Visiting the U.S. and using our financial system are privileges that should not be extended to human rights violators

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) and Senate Chair of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, made the following remarks after a bipartisan committee vote to approve the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act.

“Bipartisan approval of the Sergei Magnitsky Act by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee sends a message to the world that visiting the United States and having access to our financial system, including U.S. dollars, are privileges that should not be extended to those who violate basic human rights and the rule of law.  Now approved by both Senate and House committees, there is clear momentum for passing the Magnitsky Act as an alternative to Jackson-Vanik.

“Advancing this important legislation is a fitting tribute to the legacy of Sergei Magnitsky, who continues to be posthumously prosecuted by the Russian government for his courageous acts to expose the truth and to protect Russian taxpayers from official graft.  Once enacted, the bill named in his honor will provide powerful tools to combat serious human rights violations.  It will provide the current administration and future administrations with a strong deterrent to prevent human rights abuses by those who would like to visit or do business in the U.S.”