Sunday, 26 February 2012

Standing up to Tyranny

This week, I am applying for a backbench debate and vote in Parliament on adopting a UK equivalent of the US Sergei Magnitsky Bill, named after the Russian lawyer who was tortured and killed by state officials for exposing the biggest tax fraud in Russian history. For a summary of that case, read here.

I have the backing of 5 ex-Foreign Ministers and set out the case for such a British Bill in today's Sunday Times here. The Bill would apply mandatory sanctions on state officials - including naming them, freezing their assets on UK soil and visa bans - where the government has concrete evidence of such an individual's involvement in torture, extra-judicial killing or other egregious human rights abuses.

UPDATE: 28 February 4.30pm:
The Backbench Business Committee has granted the debate (and vote) on 7 March. Sir Malcolm Rifkind wrote in the Evening Standard today here backing the case for targeted sanctions on Russia and other regimes with rogue elements.


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