NEWSLINK: Senate fight coming over Russian human rights bill

U.S. Capitol at Twilight With Washington Monument, National Mall, Washington, D.C., Environs and Sunset in Background

(Senate fight coming over Russian human rights bill – Foreign Policy – Josh Rogin – Nov. 28, 2012 – click here for full article) covers the U.S. Senate’s handling of the Magnitsky Act and related trade regulation, and the question of whether to broaden its scope to human rights violators world-wide:

The Senate is set to do battle over whether a bill to sanction human rights violators will be limited to Russia or be applied to all countries around the world.

The House last week passed by a huge bipartisan majority of 365-43 the Russia and Moldova Jackson- Vanik Repeal Act of 2012, which allows Russia to obtain Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status and removes human rights sanctions first applied to Russia in 1974.

The bill contained within it the House version of the Sergei Magnitsky Accountability and Rule of Law Act of 2012, which would set in place new penalties for human rights violators in Russia. That bill is named after the Russian anti-corruption lawyer who died in a Russian prison in 2009 after allegedly being tortured by Russian authorities.

The joining of the Magnitsky bill with the bill to grant Russia PNTR status is meant to ally lawmakers’ concerns regarding the ongoing deterioration of human rights conditions in Russia. But the Senate version of the Magnitsky bill would allow sanctioning of human rights violators in all countries, not just Russia.

That broadened scope is at the center of the fight over the bill coming soon to the Senate floor.

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