MPs again ‘Magnitsky modification’ on sanctions for human rights abuses

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will have the ability to impose sanctions on individuals who commit gross human rights violations underneath a so-called “Magnitsky amendment” backed by members of parliament on Tuesday.

The modification to a brand new Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill going by parliament handed and not using a vote because it was backed each by the ruling Conservatives and the principle opposition Labour Party.

Lawmakers referred to it throughout their debate because the Magnitsky modification, in reference to Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who was arrested in 2008 after alleging that Russian officers had been concerned in large-scale tax fraud. He died in a Moscow jail in 2009 after complaining of mistreatment.

The modification is just not particularly aimed toward Russians, however it comes at a time of disaster in relations between Britain and Russia following a nerve agent assault in England on a Russian ex-spy and his daughter, which London blames on Moscow.

Russia has denied any involvement within the assault on Sergei and Yulia Skripal. The stand-off has led to tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats and fiery rhetoric on either side.

Boris Johnson, Britain’s international minister, known as the passage of the modification by the House of Commons an “important moment”.

“These (provisions) will allow UK to act against those responsible for serious offences worldwide. UK stands up for human rights globally,” he stated on Twitter.

The United States had handed a legislation generally known as the Magnitsky Act in 2012 underneath which it has imposed visa bans and asset freezes on Russian officers linked to the lawyer’s loss of life.

Prime Minister Theresa May had spoken on May 14 about bringing ahead a Magnitsky Act-style modification in one in every of her statements responding to the assault on the Skripals.

Bill Browder, an funding fund supervisor who employed Magnitsky and has led a marketing campaign to punish Russian officers he blames for the lawyer’s loss of life, took to Twitter to thank British lawmakers who performed an element within the British Magnitsky modification.

“Thank you for making a UK Magnitsky Act happen,” he stated.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed allegations that Magnitsky’s loss of life was linked to mistreatment, saying he died of coronary heart failure. A Russian court docket sentenced Browder in absentia in December to 9 years in jail after discovering him responsible of deliberate chapter and tax evasion, allegations Browder denies.

Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Peter Graff

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