OTTAWA, October 19. /TASS/. The enactment of the "Law on Victims of Corrupt Foreign Governments", also known as the ‘Sergei Magnitsky Law’ is an irrational act that runs counter to common sense, Russia’s embassy in Canada said on Twitter.
"In defiance of common sense S-226 (the bill’s number - TASS) is hastily signed into law. Irrational act sponsored by fugitive fraudster & tax evader and Russia-haters," the embassy said.
On Wednesday, the Canadian Parliament published a notice on its website that the "Law on Victims of Corrupt Foreign Governments" received royal assent and came into effect.
On October 18, the law was signed by Governor-General of Canada Julie Payette.
The Canadian parliament approved the law on October 4. The bill particularly allows the government to freeze assets and ban visas for officials from Russia and other nations considered guilty of human rights violations.
The U.S. passed a similar law in 2012 under the administration of Barack Obama. The law was named after Sergey Magnitsky, an auditor working for Hermitage Capital Management, a British investment fund, who was arrested on charge of creating illegal tax evasion schemes for the fund. While under investigation, Magnitsky accused a number of Russian officials of corruption. In November 2009, he died in the Matrosskaya Tishina pre-trial detention center in Moscow, as stated by representatives of Hermitage Capital, after being denied essential medical care.
The relations between Ottawa and Moscow were effectively frozen in 2014 on the initiative of then Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper after Crimea’s reunification with Russia and the conflict in eastern Ukraine.