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Senator Andreychuk Introduces Bill to Strengthen Measures Against Human Rights Violators

 

Ottawa, ON - Rising in the Senate on May 4, 2016, Senator Raynell Andreychuk tabled Bill S-226, “Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law).”

Inspired by the case of Moscow lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, Bill S-226 seeks to impose greater restrictive measures against foreign states and nationals responsible for gross human rights violations.

“I am very pleased to table this important piece of legislation,” said Senator Andreychuk. “With the introduction of this Bill, we remember Mr. Magnitsky’s sacrifice and emphasize the importance of bringing all those responsible for his illegal detention and torture to justice. Moreover, by amending both the Special Economic Measures Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to include human rights, Bill S-226 seeks to ensure greater accountability among human rights violators throughout the world,” added Senator Andreychuk.

In 2008, Sergei Magnitsky uncovered one of the largest tax fraud schemes in Russian history. Following his testimony against Senior Interior Ministry officials, Mr. Magnitsky was detained without a proper trial and accused of tax fraud. He spent the next year in prison, where he was subjected to ill treatment and torture. While imprisoned, he developed serious medical complications. He passed away on November 16, 2009 in pre-trial custody, at the age of 37.

“Canada has a duty to uphold the principles of international justice and respect for human rights within the international community. I wish to thank Mr. William Browder and former MP Irwin Cotler for their tireless hard work and dedication in highlighting the need for this key piece of legislation in Canada.”

Background

• In 2010, the European Parliament adopted a resolution to impose entry bans on Russian officials involved in the Magnitsky case.

• In 2012, Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov travelled to Canada to call on the government to adopt Magnitsky sanctions. He was assassinated in Moscow in February 2015. 

• In December 2012, the United States Senate unanimously adopted the Magnitsky Act.

• Both the Canadian House of Commons and the Senate of Canada unanimously adopted a motion to take note of the case of Sergei Magnitsky on March 25, and May 5, 2015, respectively.

• On March 10, 2016, the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade heard testimony from William Browder, Zhanna Nemtsova, and Vladimir Kara-Murza, on the state of human rights abuses in Russia and the Magnitsky case.

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Contact: Zenia Turkewych Miner 613-996-4600