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Global Magnitsky Act could be powerful weapon against impunity

The following is a CPJ blog post published on cpj.org on 24 May 2016.

Last week, the proposed Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act emerged from the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee with approval. The bill was passed by the Senate last year. If passed by the full House of Representatives and signed into law by the president, it has the potential to offer partial redress to one of the most chilling truths facing journalists today: in 90 percent of cases, the murders of journalists go unpunished.

The Global Magnitsky Act would allow the U.S. government to freeze assets of and ban visas for (non-U.S.) individuals worldwide who grossly violate human rights. It would be an expansion of the 2012 Magnitsky Act, which applies exclusively to Russians. Both are named after Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in prison in 2009. Before his arrest in 2008 on charges of fraud, Magnitsky had exposed large-scale official corruption. More than three dozen people are now on the so-called "Magnitsky list," including two named in connection with the 2004 murder of Forbes editor Paul Klebnikov in Moscow.

Read the full story on CPJ's website.

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