The Committee on Foreign Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives prepared the draft resolution on the sanctions against the leadership of Russia for criminal persecution of the journalists, political opposition figures, civil society, and religious freedom activists as the press service of the House of Representatives reported.
“Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Michael T. McCaul, the Committee’s Ranking Member, today introduced legislation condemning the Kremlin’s practice of imprisoning journalists, political opposition figures, civil society, and religious freedom activists in Russia,” the message said.
The resolution urges the Russian Federation to release the political prisoners immediately.
“Vladimir Putin is a cruel authoritarian with a long track record of silencing civil liberties, including freedom of the press, freedom of speech, political opposition, and democracy. We need only to look at the violent killing of Putin-critic Boris Nemtsov to see how Putin brutally suppresses those who speak out against him,” Engel said.
The congressmen note that the bill should become a bipartisan message to Kremlin that the U.S. Congress supports ‘the heroes who put their lives at risk for freedom and democracy’.
The authors of the document urge Trump’s administration to support the resolution aiming for support of rights and freedoms of the Russian people and impose sanctions against Russian government officials responsible for violation of human rights.
The resolution of the House of Representatives #958:
- Condemns the practice of politically motivated imprisonment by the Russian government, particularly under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin
- Calls for the immediate release of those designated as political prisoners in the Russian Federation
- Urges the Administration to impose sanctions on those responsible for these human rights abuses using the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, or other authorities
In 2016, the U.S. Congress unanimously supported a bill that provides the expansion of the Magnitsky law applies to every country in the world, not just to Russia. The law enables the US President to renew the list of foreign nationals that, in his view, are involved in corruption and human rights violations.
In October 2017, the President of Russia Vladimir Putin claimed that the so-called “Magnitsky act”, which provides a package of sanctions against Russia, is based on political games.