Sergei Magnitsky was a Russian tax accountant who in 2009 investigated fraud in his country. He was accused of committing fraud himself and detained by state authorities. While in prison he was tortured and developed several illnesses, he was refused medical aid and was finally beaten to death.
Magnitsky was arbitrary arrested and assassinated for the sole purpose of desiring less corruption in his country. The consequence of his death was the implementation of a legislation to sanction Russian individuals involved in corruption. In 2012, the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs created a bill called the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 (H.R. 4405). It was signed on December 14, of the same year by former president Barack Obama. Finally, in 2016, the U.S Congress enacted the Magnitsky Act. Under this act, the U.S Government could now sanction, by freezing assets and banning entrance to the country, foreign government officials who were implicated in human rights violations and corruption at a global scale.
More than 50 foreign individuals have been sanctioned since 2013. All of these individuals are involved in human rights violations, generalized corruption or both, in most of the cases.
On July of 2018, an example of individuals who were involved in both acts was seen in Nicaragua under the Ortega Regime. The Nicaraguan police chief Francisco Díaz, the treasurer of the Sandinista Front, Francisco López and to the secretary general of the Mayor’s Office of Managua, Fidel Moreno, were sanctioned by the U.S under the Magnitsky act because of being part of a repressive regime and embezzlement of funds.
Currently, there is an initiative to incorporate the Magnitsky act at a global scale. To capacitate countries and economic and political unions such as the E.U, to implement such act and empower human rights and international law around the world.
The Human Rights Institute for Peace and Freedom is in favor of implementing the Magnitsky act in the entire word. The European Union must implement such act in order for the international community to follow. The entire world must fight against corruption, violation of human rights and most important, the impunity which has accompanied the perpetrators of these acts throughout the years.