• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • The Sergei Magnitsky Act and Human Rights

    Senators Ben Cardin (D–MD) and Jon Kyl (R–AZ) have joined together to sponsor a modern piece of human rights legislation, the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act.

    The legislation is designed to punish gross violators of human rights while allowing the U.S. to extend permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) to Russia.

    Sergei Magnitsky was a 37-year-old attorney and accountant who worked for Hermitage, then the largest Western private equity fund in Russia. In the course of his work, he uncovered a giant corruption scheme that involved embezzlements of $230 million from the Russian Treasury by law enforcement and tax officials. After making accusations, he was arrested on fabricated tax evasion and tax fraud charges. Magnitsky died in isolation at a Russian prison, where he was denied medical care and beaten mercilessly by guards, as confirmed by an investigation by the Russian Presidential Council on Human Rights.

    Although the Magnitsky Act is targeted toward human rights abuses in Russia, Cardin and Kyl would apply the act to major human rights violators based in all countries.

    Congress should extend PNTR to Russia so the U.S. can benefit from that country’s recent admission to the World Trade Organization. This would mean that Russia would no longer be subject to the Jackson–Vanik Amendment, an important tool for promoting human rights during the Cold War that is no longer relevant in the 21st century.

    Replacing the Jackson–Vanik Amendment with the Magnitsky Act would more effectively encourage Russia—and other countries that systematically abuse human rights—to respect the rights of their citizens.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    One Response to The Sergei Magnitsky Act and Human Rights

    1. curious says:

      And maybe all countries should pass similar bills in their own countries. Because all countries abuse human rights including the USA . I say no country should be exempt.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.