A bill targeting foreign nationals who have committed human rights violations has just passed final reading in the Senate.
Bill S-226, which has now passed both the Senate and House of Commons, was inspired by the case of Sergei Magnitsky, an anti-corruption lawyer who died in 2009 after a year in a Russian jail.
Although the bill doesn’t actually name Russia except in its preamble, it’s thought to directly target Russian officials – not least by the Russians themselves.
The Russian embassy in Ottawa issued a press release on Oct. 3, calling the bill “a deplorably confrontational act blatantly interfering into Russia’s domestic affairs.”
“This hostile move, as well as any new anti-Russian sanctions, will be met with resolve and reciprocal countermeasures.”
The Russian embassy has also called the bill biased on its Twitter account.
The bill, when it receives Royal Assent, would give the cabinet the power to forbid the Canadian business dealings or dealings with Canadians abroad, of foreign nationals who are “responsible for, or complicit in, extrajudicial killings, torture or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.”
The United States adopted a similar law in 2012, freezing any U.S. assets of Russian investigators and prosecutors said to have been involved in the detention of Magnitsky. In retaliation, Moscow barred Americans from adopting Russian children.
-with files from Patrick Cain and Reuters