Friday, 16 November 2012

A serious blow to the Putin thugocracy: U.S. House of Representatives passes Magnitsky Act

Putin's mafia state is on the decline.

Excellent news from Washington D.C.: 
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved the Magnitsky Act, which which  imposed sanctions on Russians who have violated human rights:

It requires the United States to place financial and visa restrictions on a list of officials associated with the torture and death, three years ago Friday, of Sergei Magnitsky, a whistleblower who uncovered a $230 million tax refund fraud. Russian officials have denounced the act as interference in domestic affairs.
“We will signal that corrupt thugs who attack whistleblowers and human rights activists will be held to account in America, if not Russia,” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).
“We must hold Magnitsky’s killers accountable,” said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), who also denounced Russia’s prosecution this summer of the female punk band Pussy Riot after it took over a cathedral altar last February and sang a song against Vladimir Putin. Two members of the band have since been sentenced to two years in a penal colony, following a trial that Cohen called “little more than a farce.”
He called on the band’s persecutors to be added to the list of sanctioned Russian officials.
“These are exactly the sorts of victims contemplated in this legislation,” he said.
Russian human rights activists support the bill. Lev Ponomaryov, leader of the For Human Rights group, told Interfax it is “a step in the right direction.” Putin, who was elected president in March, met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday, and she also brought up human rights issues in their talks.
Read the entire article here
The bill which includes the Magnitsky Act is also expected to be approved by the U.S. Senate  should be welcomed by people all over the world who care about human rights and democratic values. It is also a major blow to Vladimir Putin and the thugocratic mafia state he has created. There will be a time - hopefully in the not too distant future - when the dictator himself will not be welcome to any civilized country, even without any kind of act. 

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