Press Release — Canada, U.S., Estonia: HRF Supports Legislation to Reject Dictatorship Enablers


The Magnitsky Law, if adopted, will allow Canada to sanction foreign officials who commit gross human rights abuses abroad by restricting their entry into the country and freezing their assets. Canada currently lacks legislation that prevents corrupt officials involved in gross human rights violations from entering Canada and moving their assets through the country. This past Thursday, HRF president Thor Halvorssen provided expert testimonyat the Parliament of Canada in support of the proposed bill.

“Any act of corruption in conjunction with a dictatorial government is by necessity an action that empowers the government and enables it to continue to violate human rights with impunity,” said Halvorssen. “On behalf of the human rights community that everyday interacts with dissidents like Sergei Magnitsky worldwide who risk everything to bring democracy and basic freedoms to their nations, I urge you to send them the message that their oppressors with their ill-gotten money are not welcome in Canada,” he added.

The United States Senate passed a similar legislation on Thursday, authorizing visa bans and asset freezes of government officials worldwide who are found to have committed gross human rights violations while taking part in corruption. The same day, Estonia also unanimously passed its version of the Magnitsky law.

Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.

Read Thor Halvorssen’s full expert testimony here.

Contact: (212) 246-8486,

TAKE ACTION! Urge Canadian officials to support the Magnitsky legislation.

CONTACT: the Canadian Prime Minister, Speakers of the Senate and the House of Commons, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs: