Today, U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) made the following statement at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Business Meeting:
"Mr. Chairman, several Committee Members have urged Committee consideration of the Magnitsky Rule of Law Act. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Senator Cardin for his hard work on the Magnitsky Act. This bill has been pending before the Foreign Relations Committee for nearly a year, and we held a hearing on the bill last December. My office has worked with Senator Cardin's staff to develop a revised version of the bill, which I strongly support. Therefore, I would look forward to the opportunity for the Committee to consider this legislation at the next business meeting."
The Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2011 (S. 1039) would impose a travel ban on and freeze the assets of persons responsible for the detention, abuse, and death of Sergei Magnitsky. The bill provides penalties for persons who commit similar human rights abuses in the future.
Sergei Magnitsky was a young Russian lawyer working for an American law firm in Moscow, who uncovered corruption and tax fraud by Russian officials. He was subsequently arrested, placed in detention, and ultimately died of pancreatitis after being refused medical care. The bill would strengthen supporters of modernization and rule of law in Russia.