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MPs unanimously call for Russia-based Wagner Group to be listed as terrorist entity

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OTTAWA -

The House of Commons has called on the Canadian government to list Russia-based mercenary company Wagner Group as a terrorist entity.

NDP MP Heather McPherson successfully sought unanimous consent from MPs to urge that Ottawa make the designation in response to reported human-rights abuses.

The Wagner Group has been accused of pulling Russians convicted of violent crimes out of prison to serve in Moscow's war in Ukraine, and executing at least one defector.

Groups such as the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace also documented the Wagner Group fighting on Russia's behalf in the Syrian civil war.

McPherson said the group has "committed unspeakable war crimes" and argues the designation could deter other countries from using its services.

The motion does not require Ottawa to list the group, as that decision rests with cabinet.

U.S. military reports accuse the Wagner Group of close ties to the Kremlin and meddling in African elections on Moscow's behalf.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 30, 2023.

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