Royce Hails Foreign Affairs Committee Passage of Russian Human Rights Legislation
"Magnitsky" Legislation Wins Unanimous Backing; "Shame on the White House"
Jun 7, 2012 -
Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously backed H.R. 4405, legislation designed to hold the worst Russian human rights abusers accountable. The legislation, opposed by the Obama Administration, would deny visas and freeze assets of Russian officials responsible for corruption and human rights abuses. Rep. Ed Royce, an original cosponsor of the legislation, made the following statement:
"This legislation stands with the Russian people. As one opposition leader recently said, this legislation is ‘pro-Russian. It helps defend us from the criminals who kill our citizens, steal our money, and hide it abroad.’"
"The Russian justice system is unwilling to hold abusive and corrupt officials accountable. U.S. territory and financial institutions should be off limits to these officials and their ill-gotten gains.
"Shame on the White House for vigorously opposing such straightforward legislation. The human rights situation isn't getting any better in Russia." said Royce.
Meanwhile, the White House is seeking the repeal of the 1974"Jackson-Vanik" amendment, which links trade preferences for Russia to free emigration. Jackson-Vanik played a key role in the human rights agenda during the Cold War. While seeking its repeal, the Obama Administration has argued that no human rights legislation should replace it. A significant group of bipartisan lawmakers disagrees.
"Congress should soon pass legislation that allows U.S. companies to take full advantage of Russia’s accession to the WTO – together with this human rights bill," concluded Royce.