(TibetanReview.net, Feb06, 2015) – A bill has been introduced in both Houses of US Congress targeting corrupt officials and human rights violators across the world, with leaders in China being seen as among those most likely to fall foul under it if passed into law, said Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) Feb 3. The new human rights accountability bill expands the scope of the Magnitsky Act of 2012, which created visa and financial sanctions on corrupt officials and human rights violators in Russia.
ICT said a clause in the bill directs the US President to form a list of foreign nationals whom he determines are responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture, or other grave human rights violations committed against individuals seeking to promote human rights or to expose illegal activity carried out by government officials. These officials will face visa restrictions and asset freezes.
The bill seeks to: “Direct the President to designate foreign nationals whom he determines—based on credible information—is responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture, or other human rights violations committed against individuals seeking to promote human rights or to expose illegal activity carried out by government officials. Aliens on this list will be deemed ineligible to enter or be admitted to the United States; visas issued for persons on the list will be revoked” and to “Direct the President to freeze assets and prohibit US property transactions of such individuals.”
ICT considers this a significant development in the context of the fact that in Spain, two lawsuits that held some top retired leaders of China accountable for their genocidal policies in Tibet were shut down after pressure was exerted on Madrid by the Chinese government. It added that China was likely to be watching the development closely as it could lead to its officials being named for sanctions.
Matteo Mecacci, President of the ICT, has said his group will work closely with US legislators to reach this goal. He said, “The US government can send a strong message … by acting to restrict visa entry and freezing the assets of Chinese officials complicit in human rights abuses in China and Tibet.”
According to Mecacci, a former Italian lawmaker, “This new bill is a valuable tool to help challenge the impunity of officials in Tibet and China who are known to have been involved in such acts as ordering armed troops to open fire on peaceful unarmed protestors, or torture of political prisoners.”