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Lankford, Colleagues Move to Maintain Sanctions Against Human Rights Violators

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK Senator James Lankford (R-OK) joined Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and John Barrasso (R-WY) to introduce legislation to reauthorize the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act for twelve years, until December 31, 2034. The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which became law in 2016, provides the President of the United States with the authority to leverage economic sanctions against any party responsible for “gross violations of internationally recognized human rights” and prevent their entry into the US. The current authorization is set to expire in December 2022.

“In America, we believe every person has worth and dignity,” said Lankford. “This belief has allowed us to become the world’s greatest defender of basic, fundamental human rights, including the right to life, the right to due process, the right to free speech, and the right to freely live your faith. The right to practice any faith, change faiths, or have no faith is a fundamental human right of all people everywhere. It is vital that the US stand up for religious freedom and unequivocally hold perpetrators accountable for violence, oppression, and genocide against people of faith worldwide through the imposition of sanctions.”

“Over the past six years, Global Magnitsky sanctions have been an invaluable tool used by our government to protect the vulnerable and punish bad actors who pose a threat to global peace and security,” Rubio said. “This carefully crafted and bipartisan law empowered two different administrations to hold human rights violators accountable. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this crucial reauthorization.” 

Lankford remains a leader in advancing religious liberty and human rights around the world. Lankford recently received the Hero on the Hill award from Jeff King, President of the International Christian Concern (ICC), for his work to bring to light the persecution of people of faith around the world and his work to advance religious freedom. This summer, Lankford received the inaugural International Religious Freedom (IRF) Champion Award, presented by Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback under the Trump Administration.