Canadian human rights bill targeting Russian officials gets royal assent

The Canadian version of the US Magnitsky Act, envisioning sanctions for foreign nationals accused of human rights violations and corruption crimes, was granted approval by the Canadian Governor General, required to make it law, on Wednesday. Earlier in October, the bill was unanimously approved by the Canadian parliament. Moscow denounced it as an attempt at interference into its domestic affairs. The so-called “Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act” is named for Sergey Magnitsky, a tax accountant for the Hermitage Capital fund, who died in a pre-trial detention facility amid a tax evasion probe, in which he was a prime suspect. Magnitsky claimed he had uncovered embezzlement of the state budget by the Russian tax authorities. His death sparked accusation of human rights violations and resulted in the adoption of the namesake law by the US in 2012.