Norway and other democratic countries should establish global Magnitsky mechanisms

A new policy paper from the Norwegian Helsinki Committee argues that Norway and other democratic countries should establish mechanisms to freeze the assets of persons who commit gross violations of human rights with impunity and prohibit their entry into the country – the victims of these violations being human rights defenders or whistle-blowers.

The mechanisms may resemble the current US Magnitsky legislation, however without being limited to Russian citizens. They should include strong safeguards in order to ensure fair treatment. The US Congress is currently debating a Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which will broadly function along the same lines as the mechanisms proposed here. Norway should seek to influence other democratic countries to establish similar mechanisms. If a large number of democratic states establish such mechanisms, it would represent an important breakthrough in the fight against impunity for gross human rights violations.

We live in a globalized world where crimes know no boundaries. Norway can be in the lead in establishing a necessary answer: A global Magnitsky mechanism.