U.S. senators proposed legislation recently that would authorize sanctions on human rights abusers and corrupt officials across the globe.
The legislation, called the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, authorizes visa bans and a block on the U.S. assets of government officials anywhere in the world found violating human rights, committing — or assisting in — “significant” corruption, making graft by a foreign official punishable by U.S. sanctions…
[Helsinki Commission Chair] Rep. Chris Smith (R., N.J.), who proposed the House of Representatives counterpart legislation, said the bill targets “acts of corruption of the worst or largest scope,” such as rigging an election or crippling a hospital with fraud.
“All corruption hurts communities, but this bill takes aim at crimes that undermine whole countries or economies,” said Mr. Smith, who pointed to the spirit of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars Americans or companies that issue U.S. shares from bribing foreign officials to get business, as a foundation for the legislation.
“Many corrupt foreign officials want to vacation in our country and spend their loot through our companies. Their tainted money is not welcome,” Mr. Smith said.