The Magnitsky Act Is Coming To Europe – New Sanctions Law Soon Be Implemented

Natalia Magnitskaya (the Widow of Sergei Magnitsky) and her son, Bill Browder (r), Belgium former Prime Minister Guy Verhofstad left of Bill Browder,at the EU parliament in Brussels

Without hesitation and without investigation the EU reports: “Ten years ago, on 16 November 2009 in a jail cell in Moscow, guards strapped Sergei Magnitsky, a 37-year old father of two, to a bench and lashed him with rubber batons”. He died shortly after!

What is the Magnisky act?

The Magnitsky Act, formely known as the Russia and Moldova Jackson–Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012, is a bill passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in December 2012, intending to punish Russian officials responsible for the death of Russian tax accountant Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow prison in 2009. Since 2016 the bill, which applies globally, authorizes the US government to sanction those who it sees as human rights offenders, freeze their assets, and ban them from entering the U.S.

Magnitsky Acts in other countries; Estonia, United Kingdom, Canada, Lithuania, Australia , Ukraine and the European Union. The EU Parliament passed a resolution in March 2019 to urge the EU and it’s 28 member states to legislate the resolution similar with the Magnitsky Act.

The Netherlands, was the first to propose the new sanctions’ regime and was the initiator to get the unanimity it needs from the 28 EU states for the sanctions to go ahead “in the coming months”. Bill Browder was on a tour through Europe to get support for a”European Magnitsky Act Law”.

“There seems to be broad support … but there are still some outstanding issues and questions,” According to the Dutch initiators’ “Hungary, one of the most pro-Russian EU states, had earlier said that no such sanctions or Magnitsky Act were needed”.

The Magnitsky law must make targeted penalties possible
according to various Dutch political parties who see the Russian Sergei Magnitsky as an important symbol for all people who are oppressed and seek their rights. “The law should make it possible to punish people in a very targeted way. Think of the murderers of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi or the generals in Myanmar who are chasing the Rohingyas.” Is their argument.

The outgoing EU foreign relations chief, Federica Mogherini, “had been consistently hostile” to an EU Magnitsky Act, according to Bill Browder, the Hermitage Capital CEO, who used to be Magnitsky’s employer and plays a “doubtful” role in the whole case.

Of course, it’s an opportunity for the Dutch government and maybe the reason that they are so much in favor of the act and pushing it to go ahead, is the upcoming trial in Schiphol, in the (Russian) MH17 case. Also, the conviction of the President of Suriname, Desi Bouterse, recently for the “December-killings” can be taken into consideration of imposing the EU-Magnitsky Act. Suriname was a Dutch Colony for more than 300 years and gained in-dependency in 1975. The Dutch suppressed the people of Suriname with their colonial “regime”.

Ordinary people do not get to have a say in EU diplomats’ behind-closed-doors sessions and lawmaking. Many Europeans see the EU as a “Moloch”. An institution who decide for them, but far from democratic, the EU citizens have no say.


Source EP Parliament


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