Canada passes Magnitsky human rights law, sparking Russian threats
Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, October 18, 2017 6:48PM EDT
OTTAWA - Russia is accusing Canada of causing irreparable harm to their relations after Parliament formally passed the so-called Magnitsky Act targeting the actions of gross human rights violators.
But the chair of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee has a simple rebuttal -- don't take it personally.
Liberal MP Bob Nault says the expansion of Canada's international sanctions law doesn't target one specific country because it is aimed at human rights violators everywhere.
However, Canada's new sanctions regime and those of other countries, including the United States, have been closely linked to the Russian whistleblower, Sergei Magnitsky.
Magnitsky died in a Moscow prison in 2009 after accusing officials of a $230-million tax fraud.
The Russian embassy has not specified any particular retaliatory action against Canada for passing bill S-226, but after the U.S. enacted its Magnitsky legislation, Russian President Vladimir Putin responded with a law that banned American citizens from adopting Russian children.