Tomorrow the MPs will vote on the final 3rd reading of the Criminal Finances Bill.
The Magnitsky amendment by Hodge/Raab is remarkably simple: it allows the government and members of the public to go to the UK court against violations of human rights which occur outside of the UK but if were committed in the UK would have been illegal. Based on this very straightforward test the UK court can freeze assets of the foreign perpetrators of human rights violations.
Given the support the amendment received in the Parliament and in the media, it is not surprising that the government has come out with their own version of the amendment drafted by the Home Office. Mrs Rudd’s version is better drafted and would be totally acceptable except for one critical issue: the Home Office proposal makes the right to pursue foreign human rights abusers solely the prerogative of the government.
We wholeheartedly welcome the changes to the anti money laundering regime the Bill will make and especially the human rights abusers assets freeze amendment – a robust and powerful clause creating a UK equivalent of the US Magnitsky Law (“The Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012”). We are pleased to note Secretary’s Rudd assurances that the Criminal Finances Bill (CFB) will receive Royal Assent this Spring and that its provisions will come into force later this year. But there is one final effort we need to deliver – urge the MPs to vote for the amendment introduced by Margaret Hodge and Dom Raab and supported by a large cross-party group.
ClampK firmly believes that the ability of general public to challenge foreign human rights violations is an integral part of the political freedoms of the United Kingdom similar to the right of every British citizen to report and pursue in court human rights abuse should it happen in this country.
WE URGE MPS TO VOTE FOR THE HODGE/RAAB VERSION OF THE MAGNITSKY AMENDMENT