3Center or American Progress | Russia, Trade, and Human Rights
condiions, and ulimaely negleced o rea him as he suered rom a visibly painul andlie-hreaening condiion. Magnisky died aer nearly a year in prerial deenion.Te Obama adminisraion has already aken a key sep o ensure ha Magnisky’smurderers never ener he Unied Saes,imposingvisa bans on hose involved inMagnisky’s deah under auhoriy provided by he Immigraion and Nauralizaion Ac.
Te adminisraion also boass he auhoriy o ac agains human righs viola-ors in Russia hanks o he issuance o an Augus 2011presidenial proclamaionhasuspends he enry ino he Unied Saes o serious human righs violaors rom aroundhe world,includinghose involved in arbirary deenion.
Te Magnisky Ac, however, goes urher han he proclamaion, mandaing visa bansand asse reezes on wo caegories o individuals who will be placed on a public lis. Ters caegory includes hose implicaed in he Magnisky case—he individuals respon-sible or his “deenion, abuse, or deah,” hose who paricipaed in covering up heseacions, or hose who commited he acs o raud ha Magnisky had uncovered. Tesecond caegory is broader. I includes all hose who kill, orure, or oherwise infic“gross violaions” o human righs agains individuals who expose he crimes o Russiansae ocials or who seek o “obain, exercise, deend, or promoe inernaionally recog-nized human righs and reedoms.”Te goals o he Magnisky Ac are cerainly laudable, bu here are several problems wih he legislaion as i is currenly writen. Firs, i conains a number o ambiguiiesand peculiariies concerning he scope o is applicabiliy and mechanisms o implemen-aion ha undermine is uiliy. Tese include:
Is imposiion o sancions or acions aken agains specic persons and companies, asopposed o deerminaions o ongoing paricipaion in serious human righs violaions
Is imposiion o idenical sancions agains boh individuals who have commitedserious human righs violaions and hose who commited specic economic crimesagains a oreign rm
Is vague sandard or deermining he applicabiliy o sancions such as wheher hegovernmen “has reason o believe” individuals are responsible or cerain crimes asopposed o having “credible evidence” (he sandard or similar sancions Congresslegislaedin 2010 agains human righs violaors in Iran)
Is demand ha he reasury Deparmen invesigae cases o alleged money launder-ing ha have no apparen relaion o U.S. legal, business, or securiy concerns
Is insisence on a public lis or no only asse reezes bu also or visa bans—even houghhe Unied Saes rouinely does no publicize he names o hose o which i denies enry
Is mandae o he Sae Deparmen o respond o congressional requess o pu indi- viduals on he public lis wihin 30 days and o provide an annual jusicaion i “ew or no” individuals are added in a given year