Safeguard Defenders: Persian speakers now have access to a guide on how to ask different countries to put human rights violators on their sanction lists, tailor-made for Iranian victims of grave human rights abuses and civil society activists.
To advance its goal of accountability, Justice for Iran has developed a guide to the effective use of Magnitsky law for Iranian civil society in Persian based on Fighting Impunity; A Guide on How Civil Society Can Use Magnitsky Laws to Sanction Human Rights Violators produced by Safeguard Defenders.
The guide helps Iranian civil society, human rights activists, and ordinary citizens to get familiar with the Magnitsky laws and how to use them. It also provides them with accurate methods of gathering information and evidence of human rights violations by the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran required to enlist these violators for human rights sanctions in various countries, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Estonia and Lithuania.
The guide is a collection of five sections. In addition to explaining the basics of Magnitsky laws, it includes methods of identifying human rights violators and gathering information required by the authorities to enlist them for sanctions.
“The guide opens a previously closed window to justice for those whose rights have been violated and gives them the freedom to seek truth and accountability. It is an important and ground-breaking tool in Iran’s human rights sphere,” says Shadi Sadr, Justice for Iran’s executive director.
For the past 43 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s officials have enjoyed total impunity despite their direct involvement in widespread and serious human rights abuses. Hence, human rights organisations, including Justice for Iran, have consistently sought to use international mechanisms, such as the Magnitsky laws, to hold individuals and institutions involved in human rights abuses accountable.
Magnitsky laws are powerful tools that allow governments to sanction individuals, organisations, and companies outside their jurisdiction for serious human rights abuses and corruption. Depending on the judicial system of the countries, these sanctions may include the seizure of property and travel bans.
The Magnitsky law was named after Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer, who was killed in prison by security forces in 2009 after exposing Russian government officials’ systematic corruption. The issue has sparked outrage around the world, with Bill Browder, founder of Hermitage Capital Management Company, trying to persuade foreign governments to boycott those responsible for Magnitsky’s arrest and death. The result of his efforts is the formation of a set of Magnitsky laws that have currently been passed and enforced in 34 countries.
The English language guide, focused on China and Hong Kong SAR is available here, and a companion piece, a brief guide, developed with private investigators and corporate due diligence officials, focused on China and Hong Kong, is available here.
Safeguard Defenders have also worked with local partners to develop a Vietnamese edition, and the guide is also available in Simplified Chinese. A Tibetan language edition is soon to be released.