14:45 GMT +315 October 2019
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    Chrystia Freeland (File)

    Canadian Government Backs Magnitsky-Style Sanctions Bill

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    Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said that Ottawa supports a bill making its way through the Canadian parliament that calls for imposing Magnitsky-style sanctions for human rights-related abuses.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Ottawa supports a bill making its way through the Canadian parliament that calls for imposing Magnitsky-style sanctions for human rights-related abuses, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a speech to the House of Commons, media reported.

    "In Canada and around the world, the issue of human-rights sanctions and in particular the case of Sergei Magnitsky have drawn strong interest, and rightly so," Freeland said Wednesday, the Globe and Mail reported. "However, there no current Canadian law that authorizes the imposition of sanctions specifically for violations of international human rights obligations in a foreign state or for acts of corruption."

    Freeland voiced her support for Bill S-226, which is based on the US Magnitsky Act, according to the report, and said the government will work with parliamentarians to strengthen the bill.

    Canada’s bill S-226, referred to as the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law), calls for restrictive measures on foreign nationals responsible for human violations, according to a copy of the bill posted at openparliament.ca.

    Canada’s House of Commons is expected to start debating the bill Friday, the report added.

    US Congress passed the Magnitsky Act in 2012, which allows Washington to deny visas and free the assets of Russian officials allegedly involved in the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky and human rights violations in Russia.

    In April, President Donald Trump said in a letter to the Senate and House of Representatives judiciary committees that his government was identifying potential violators of the Magnitsky Act and will conduct an interagency review to ensure commitments are met.

    In January, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said sanctions imposed by the Magnitsky Act amounted to an unjustified and politically motivated initiative, after the United States added five Russian individuals to its Specially Designated Nationals list for alleged violations of the legislation, including Russian Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin.


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