Australian Government Introduces Magnitsky Act for Human Rights Violators

The Australian Government has officially introduced the Magnitsky Act, which empowers Australia to impose sanctions on foreign human rights abusers.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne submitted Bill 2021 to the Australian Senate on November 24th to amend self-government sanctions (thematic sanctions). It was seconded by Senator Jonathan Daniel.

“Autonomous sanctions can be used for our national interest as an important tool of national technology to address the most severe situations of international concern,” Pain said in her second reading. Said in the speech.

“These are very targeted measures designed to impact, deter and incur costs to the perpetrators while minimizing their impact on the general public,” she adds. I did.

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Foreign Minister Marise Payne, along with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, will speak to the media at a press conference in Sydney, Australia, on April 27, 2021. (AAPImage / Dan Himbrechts)

“More and more relatively attractive economies are participating in the Magnitsky Movement, and the bill is timely for Australia,” she said. “This also allows us to act more quickly with like-minded sanctions partners in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and other key national interests.”

The Magnitsky Act differs from normal sanctions because it targets individual human rights abusers rather than the state.

“It can identify someone. It could freeze assets in Melbourne and Sydney,” Joseph Siracusa, an adjunct professor of international diplomacy at Curtin University, told The Epoch Times.

“When people receive money and rent a house, they buy it abroad, including apartments and cars, and extend it to families and extended families. It turns out that they are sending money to their children. It’s a big problem. People you can’t escape with it, “he said.

“It can really hurt people who hurt people.”

The law received bipartisan support from the Parliamentary Commission in December 2020 after extensive investigation with 160 submissions.

Prominent human rights advocates, including Amal Clooney, barrister Geoffrey Robertson QC, and former Russian chess champion and now human rights activist Garry Kasparov, have expressed their support behind the law.

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Russian riot police officers detain former world chess champion Garry Kasparov on August 17, 2012, outside the Moscow court building. (ANDREY SMIRNOV / AFP / GettyImages)

The law is named after lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who exposed a massive tax evasion committed by Russian authorities to US $ 230 million. He was subsequently imprisoned, tortured and died in 2009 a year later in a Moscow prison.

In August, Labor Senator Kimberley Kitching announced an earlier version of the bill.

“This tells them:’Your stolen money is not good here. No matter how you steal from people, a shopping trip to Paris, a mansion facing the harbor of Sydney, skiing in Aspen, There are no nest eggs in the western banks, and like King Midas, they will have a lot of money, but there is no way to enjoy it, “the Senator said in her speech.

“It tells them:’You can’t travel here. Let’s go find a resort in a ruined, polluted, corrupt and tyrannical country. There’s no escape here,” she said. Added.

Senator Janet Rice, a diplomatic spokesperson for Greens, called on the government to incorporate all 33 recommendations from the Parliamentary Commission, especially an independent advisory body that makes the process more transparent.

“Without this agency, the power to impose sanctions would be left to the discretion of the Foreign Minister without having to provide a reason to the Australian people,” Rice told AAP.

Discussions on the bill have been postponed until the next seating period.

Daniel Y. Ten