Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Ben Cardin (D-MD), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement today on the revocation of Bill Browder’s U.S. visa. The senators are the co-authors of the 2012 Sergei Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and the 2016 Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act:
“We understand that William Browder’s U.S. visa has been revoked due his inclusion on the Interpol list. According to Browder, the Russian government has submitted his name for inclusion on the Interpol list on several occasions in the past, yet it was rejected as politically motivated. And through these episodes, his U.S. visa status has been immediately reinstated. The Department of Homeland Security should expedite an immediate review of the decision to revoke Mr. Browder’s visa.
“Sergei Magnitsky was a young Russian lawyer who worked for Bill Browder and helped to uncover a massive corruption scheme in Russia. He was targeted by the authorities and died while in custody. His unfortunate demise led to our work on the Magnitsky Act, which bars Russian figures who are connected to the Magnitsky case or are complicit in gross violations of human rights from entering the United States. The measure also authorized the freezing of their assets.
“William Browder is strong advocate for anti-corruption efforts around the world and we relied on his expertise and support as we led the effort to pass the Magnitsky Act. Mr. Browder’s work has helped to remove corrupt actors from our financial system and enhance accountability measures with respect to the U.S. relationship with the Russian Federation – it would be unfortunate if the U.S. decided to bar him based on a decision by those same Russian officials who have been targeted by this important legislation.”