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US Senate Passes Magnitsky Bill - Corruption Currents - WSJ

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The U.S. Senate passed legislation on Thursday to place sanctions on human rights abusers as part of a broader bill easing trade restrictions on Russia.

The bill, which already cleared the House, passed on a 92-4 vote, and President Barack Obama intends to sign it into law, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

It scraps the Jackson-Vanik provision that imposed trade restrictions on any country that tries to prevent its citizens from emigrating, though it was targeted at Moscow. With Russia ascending to the World Trade Organization, the U.S. had to remove trade barriers.

The human rights provision attached to the trade bill was named for Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer for Hermitage Capital Management who has been lionized around the world as a martyr and a whistleblower after he made allegations of a huge fraud scandal in Russia and died while in the hands of Russian authorities.