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Letter in support of Global Magnitsky Enforcement

The Open Dialogue Foundation continues to reiterate its support in advancing the implementation and enforcement of Global Magnitsky sanctions in Europe and overseas. Therefore, together with other 50 leading human rights organisations, ODF has signed a series of letters addressed to the U.S. House and Senate Appropriations Committees in support of continued congressional funding for this powerful foreign policy tool.

The letters welcome the incorporation of report language which outlines the importance of Global Magnitsky sanctions enforcement in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 appropriations bill and urge Congress to maintain its support for this law through continuing the funding of the responsible bodies. Firstly, we demand the inclusion of $1 million for this purpose in the FY 2021 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) appropriations bill. Secondly, we require the same funding level of $3 million for sanctions enforcement to be retained in the FY 2021 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) appropriations bill. Thirdly, we urge the inclusion of a total of $1.5 million in the FY 2021 bill State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) appropriations bill.

The letters explain that this funding would allow the hiring of additional staff for ensuring the identification and vetting of an increased number of perpetrators. The letters outline the importance of preserving and building on FY2020’s achievements and including specific set aside with “shall language”. Furthermore, the letters reiterate that it is critical to include specific wording on implementation. By adopting these requests, a more vigorous enforcement of the law can be guaranteed.

In the text of the letters, NGOs acknowledge the law’s utility from its adoption in 2016 until now and affirm: “targeted sanctions have been imposed on 199 human rights violators, corrupt actors, and associated entities in 25 countries”. Add that this was possible thanks to “the unprecedented cooperation between Congress, the Executive Branch, and civil society”.

Nevertheless, in the light of the increasing number of potential sanctions cases, NGOs point out that there is a compelling need to expand the current surpassed capacity of the U.S. competent agencies. This would allow the U.S. government to vet efficiently the large number of human rights abuses and grand corruption cases worldwide.

Read the news published by Freedom House and the full letters: