The Guardian (UK): Dominic Raab announces sanctions by the UK against human rights violators

The long-awaited sanction of the British government against the violators of human rights from Saudi Arabia, Russia, and North Korea announced by the Minister for foreign Affairs Dominic Raab (Dominic Raab).

The restrictive measures announced on Monday include the freezing of assets and ban on entry into the country. These sanctions are the first time the UK will self-identify and punish individuals and organizations accused of human rights violations. The decision was made in accordance with the law on sanctions 2018, establishing an independent sanctions regime after Breccia.

Currently, for the violation of the human rights of certain citizens can be denied entry to the UK, but the names of those denied entry, have not been disclosed. (Critics of the Magnitsky Act, under which the government of the United States, Canada and several EU countries deprived of property and prohibit the entry of the accused in human rights violations of foreigners, pay attention to this point — a person can be convicted without it this informed. In addition, the decision on the “Magnitsky Act” will be accepted without trial, outside the adversarial process. Therefore, Russia and some other countries condemn the “Magnitsky Act” — approx. ed.).

First, the UK was obliged to follow the sanctions regimes of the EU and the UN. Monday will be published the authorized document needs to discuss the members of the Parliament and outlining the principles of the new regime.

The so-called Magnitsky sanctions named in honor of Sergei Magnitsky, the Russian lawyer who died as a result of ill-treatment in a Moscow jail in 2009 after he uncovered a tax abuse in the British investment Fund Hermitage (Hermitage) in the amount of $ 230 million (as in the text. In fact, Magnitsky was imprisoned in Moscow as the auditor of the Fund Hermitage suspected that he helped reached the billion dollar wealth in Russia, the Fund and its master Browder to evade taxes. After the death of Magnitsky in prison in 2009, his former boss, bill Browder, who fled from Russia two years earlier the owner of the Foundation was to say that Magnitsky allegedly killed, “they exposed corrupt officials” who helped other companies evade taxes — approx. ed.). Similar sanctions regimes exist in the United States, Canada and the Baltic States.

These sanctions, Britain was endorsed by the chief Executive officer of the Fund “Hermitage” bill Browder (Bill Browder), who is conducting an international campaign in support of creating a “Magnitsky list”. According to him, the first group of persons in respect of whom the UK will impose sanctions, to be “murderers of Magnitsky”.

Labour MP Chris Bryant (Chris Bryant), a member of the Committee of the house of Commons on foreign Affairs, also welcomed the introduction of these sanctions, but have indicated delays in the process of preparation of new laws, successive conservative governments.

The head of the Society the Henry Jackson Alan Mendoza (Henry Jackson society Henry Jackson Society — a radical anti-Russian research center, founded in 2005 and aims “to affirm liberal democracy around the world”, but in reality — especially in Russia and China — approx. ed.) said, “it took a lot of time, but the killers of Sergei Magnitsky finally get what they deserve. A lesson for his killers — and for all those who persecuted other “Sergeev Magnitsky” in the world — is obvious. We will not forget. You all are in Russia murderers — you face retribution.”

Human rights activists expect that at this stage in the new sanctions list will not include cases of corruption, as well as others not associated with the violation of human rights crimes for which the sanctions imposed parallel restrictions in Canada and the United States.

The British foreign and Commonwealth office (FCO) in its annual report on human rights was informed by some participants of the campaign for the adoption of the Magnitsky act counterparts about how to work “Magnitsky sanctions”. It was expected that the sanctions will apply only to those countries that are included in the list of “countries of concern”. (Referring to concerns about compliance in these countries human rights — approx. ed.) But this information has not been confirmed.

Given the scale of human rights violations in the world of various authoritarian regimes, the FCO will inevitably have to fight with those who will lobby for the inclusion in this list an even greater number of people. Such lobbyists will have to convince them that individuals or countries were not included in the sanctions lists because of their value to a wider diplomatic or commercial interests of great Britain. Ministers impose sanctions will also face allegations that the country against which the sanctions are imposed, they tend to choose high-ranking and minor officials. Will have to join in international conflicts: in fully authoritarian regimes the atmosphere of gross violations of human rights create not only officials, but also leaders.

So an obvious possibility of conflict with diplomatic allies, such as Saudi Arabia and the possibility of retaliatory measures.

Ministers understand that the accepted without trial the punishment for foreigners can be subject to judicial challenge. Therefore, they stress that sanctions should not be viewed as punishment, the chances of liberation from which there is no. Sanctions must be intended to be an incentive to correct the behavior of officials. (Because of the sanctions in Russia have been the prosecutors, the Investigative Committee and the courts, anyone can see what is happening in London pressure on the Russian justice — approx. ed.) the purpose of the London — to punish the officials sought to be released from the sanctions, in the spirit of correction. There are other penalties for illegal acts.

Dominic Raab said: “From today the UK will be new powers to impose restrictions on persons involved in serious violations of human rights. We are talking about the ban on entry to the UK, to transfer money through our banks and to profit from our economy. We will not allow those who try to hurt innocent victims and ruin their lives, benefit from that can offer Britain”.

In 2014 Raab, who was then an ordinary member of the British Parliament, have filed lawsuits against the information Commissioner and the Ministry of internal Affairs. He required them to disclose details about how he was allowed to enter the United Kingdom 60 Russian government officials allegedly involved in the Magnitsky murder, but the first-tier Tribunal (information chamber) these claims were rejected.

Browder 10 years in favour of the punishment of officials behind the death of Magnitsky. In 2012, the U.S. Congress passed landmark Magnitsky Act. In accordance with this law, 18 Russian officials were denied entry into the US and denied access to U.S. banking institutions. In response to these sanctions, Vladimir Putin imposed a ban on adoptions by American families of Russian children.

Subsequently, similar to the Magnitsky Act laws were adopted in other countries. These include the Baltic States — Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia (at that time they were already members of the EU), as well as Canada and Kosovo. The question of the adoption of such a law is considering Australia. In December, the EU agreed to adopt the Magnitsky law across the EU, but have not done so.

Browder said the initiative, announced on Monday by the British government, “an important milestone in the campaign for the adoption of a European version of the Magnitsky act”. “Most of the kleptocrats and human rights violators to keep their money in the UK, have houses in London and send their children to study in British schools. This will cause a painful blow to the villains and criminals throughout the world.”

“The way to persuade the British government to do so, was long and difficult. It took eight years. Magnitsky’s family finally got justice. When Sergei was killed, he worked at the British firm,” added Browder (I should add that the Russian court Browder for his work at the head of the wealthy in Russia, “the British firm” convicted in absentia for fraud and tax evasion, and in the United States Browder path is closed because of allegations of fraud. Fearing arrest, Browder changed his citizenship from American to British and now lives in England — approx. ed.).

Issuing a statement on Monday afternoon in Parliament, Raab poses for a photo in front of the Ministry of foreign Affairs and Commonwealth Affairs Magnitsky’s widow Natalia and his son Nikita.

A tax attorney Magnitsky, according to Browder, was arrested by the same interior Ministry officers whom he had accused of fraud, and imprisoned in the Moscow prison “Matrosskaya Tishina”. Says Browder, Magnitsky was denied medical care and died at the age of 37 years in prison.

Among the sanctioned Russians — Alexander Bastrykin, a close ally of Putin and the head of the Investigative Committee of Russia. The British government is presumably aware that Bastrykin had failed to investigate Magnitsky’s death and the inhumane treatment of him — and he did it Bastrykin, according to London, “or intentionally, or by negligence”. The US has imposed on Bastrykin’s personal sanctions in 2017.

Other Russians, affected by the sanctions, is the prison doctors who worked in detention centers where Magnitsky was sitting, and officers and investigators. All of them are now not allowed to enter the United Kingdom, and if they have money, they will be immediately frozen.