Czech Parliament Approves Czech Magnitsky Act

Czech lawmakers approved the Magnitsky Act on Friday, allowing the Czech government to impose sanctions on foreign entities violating human rights, supporting terrorism, or committing cyber crimes.

The Czech government planned to adopt the Magnitsky Act by the end of next year, but the preparation of the draft was accelerated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“It will make the Czech Republic the first Central European country to have its instrument to sanction serious human rights violations,” Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský said.

Among EU countries, France, the Netherlands, Latvia and Estonia have similar laws. The law sets out the conditions for the inclusion of entities on the national sanctions list and the procedure for preparing proposals for the inclusion of entities on the EU sanctions list at the Czech initiative.

According to the proposal, the inclusion on the sanctions list will be decided by the Government on the proposal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For example, the state will be able to prevent sanctioned individuals from entering and staying in the country or freezing their assets.

Czech law was inspired by the US Magnitsky Act, named after a Ukrainian-born lawyer and tax advisor who died in Russian state custody in 2009 after he reported on corruption.

The law now needs to be approved by the Senate.

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