JBANC letter to Members of the Senate Finance Committee regarding the Magnitsky Act
Eestlased USAs 24 Jul 2012 JBANCEWR
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Jul 20, 2012

The Honorable Max Baucus
Chairman
Senate Finance Committee
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Orrin G. Hatch
Ranking Member
Senate Finance Committee
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Sirs:

The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC), representing one million persons of Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian heritage in the United States, thanks you for your leadership in helping to pass the the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2011 (S. 1039) through committee on July 18 as part of the Russia Trade bill. We appreciate your concern in the fight for human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, especially critical now in the Russian Federation.

This bipartisan legislation was introduced on May 19, 2011 by Senator Benjamin Cardin and currently is co-sponsored by 38 Members of the Senate in a very bipartisan fashion.

The perpetrators of the November 2009 death of whistle-blowing Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky have not been held accountable by the Russian court system. That regime, in its continuing contempt with regards to this case, may continue to feel emboldened to continue with its behavior.

It is critical that officials who were involved in the human rights abuses surrounding Magnitsky’s death remain targeted with effective travel and financial sanctions. However, we understand that the names of those involved in these human rights abuses might be kept secret via a classified annex. We feel that without naming the names, there will be no shame and that accountability may suffer.

We hope that final legislation is passed in which these perpetrators names are made public.

The United States must not stand by as an unwitting accomplice in these crimes. We hope that you will ensure that this remains the case. We look forward to the passage of the Magnitsky Act before the August recess, and thank you again for your support!

Sincerely,

Karl Altau
Managing Director
 
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