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League of Ukrainian Canadians Calls on Canadian MPs to Support Magnitsky Act

League of Ukrainian Canadians, National Executive

May 17, 2016 – Toronto, Media Release

The League of Ukrainian Canadians calls on Members of Parliament from all parties represented in the House of Commons to support Bill C-267, “Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law),” proposed by Parliamentary Critic for National Defence, MP James Bezan (Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman). This important piece of legislation would provide the Government of Canada with an effective mechanism to sanction and deny entry to Canada for human rights violators from Russia, implicated in the torture and death of Sergei Magnitsky, Moscow-based Hermitage Capital Management lawyer.

James Bezan

Sergei Magnitsky Law C267 will hold accountable corrupt foreign officials responsible for human rights violations (James Bezan Twitter)

Magnitsky was arrested in 2007 and died in prison after he accused Russian officials of theft and money laundering. Subsequent investigations found evidence that Mr. Magnitsky had been beaten by prison staff and denied medical assistance. Please read Bill Browder’s article

Historically, Canada has been at the forefront of protecting and promoting human rights and civil liberties both domestically and internationally. However, our generosity and tolerance must not be abused by human rights violators, and Canada must never become a safe haven for criminals.

Illegal detentions and imprisonment by Russian authorities continue to this day. Currently more than 20 Ukrainian citizens are illegally imprisoned by Russia, including captured pilot Nadiya Savchenko. Canada is among many countries that continuously call for their immediate release. To date, Russian authorities have ignored pleas from the world community and continue to break international and domestic laws. During Canada’s 2015 federal election campaign, when surveyed by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, all four major parties pledged their support for the Magnitsky legislation. In addition, it is of utmost importance for all members of the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group to endorse this legislation in order to show their support for a democratic Ukraine and the Ukrainian-Canadian community.

Vladimir Putin’s disregard for human rights and international law should not be rewarded. One of the ways to express our discontent with the current regime’s behavior is by not allowing its corrupt officials and other criminals to enter Canada. The adoption of the Magnitsky legislation will send a strong signal to the Putin regime that its behavior is unacceptable to Canada.

Orest Steciw, National President. League of Ukrainian Canadians

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