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