Committee on Foreign Affairs endorsed the initiative for the Magnitsky Law
Press release, 26 October 2017
At its meeting, the Committee on Foreign Affairs considered and endorsed the draft Law Amending the Law on Legal Status of Aliens (No XIIIP-533), thus establishing an additional legal basis for banning aliens from entering the Republic of Lithuania.
On the initiative of 21 members of the Seimas, the draft Law was drawn up with a view to providing for, in the legal system of the Republic of Lithuania, political sanctions against people related to the case of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who disclosed the financial fraud resulting in fraudulent misappropriation of USD 230 million of taxpayers’ money by officials of the Russian Federation and was arrested by Russian authorities and tortured in prison, where he eventually died. The Law also provides for sanctions against people related to cracking down, in violation of human rights and with impunity, on individuals, who disclose the cases of corruption and abuse of office, and on political prisoners or similar individuals. People who have committed, instigated or otherwise participated in corruption or money laundering must not remain unpunished only because they are related to non-democratic authorities. These people must know in advance that a democratic state will enforce sanctions against them for the abuse of authority, when it violates international law and imposes liability in a democratic state.
The Committee on Foreign Affairs, as lead committee for consideration of the draft Law, proposed that the Seimas amend the Law on the Legal Status of Aliens by new Article 133(4), which would set out the legal basis for adopting, at the political level, a decision on banning an alien from entering the Republic of Lithuania for up to five years. The Minister of Foreign Affairs is granted the right of initiative to submit a proposal to the Minister of the Interior on imposing a political sanction against an alien, who has committed a serious or very serious crime against a person in a foreign state and has consequently violated universally recognised human rights and freedoms, or has committed a corruption-related offence or a criminal offence related to money laundering, as defined by the laws of the Republic of Lithuania and international agreements, or who has instigated or otherwise participated in the commission of such offences and/or for these reasons has been included in the national list of alerts for refusal of entry by an EU Member State, a member state of the European Free Trade Association, or a member country of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A decision banning an alien from entering the Republic of Lithuania would be adopted by the Minister of the Interior on the recommendation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The Committee also proposed that the Seimas lay down, in the Law, the circumstances when an alien is not informed of the decision banning him/her from entering the Republic of Lithuania. The information about the decision taken would not be provided if this adversely affected state security, defence, public security, prevention of criminal offences, investigation, detection, and prosecution. In case of EU citizens, the information on the reasons for the decision may not be provided when it is contrary to the interests of national security.
The Committee endorsed the revised draft Law by consensus.
Laura Plyniuvienė, Adviser of the Office of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, tel. +370 5 239 6802
Last updated on 10/27/2017