澳大利亚版的全球马格尼茨基法案首先由长期关注中国人权议题的澳大利亚众议员Michael Danby于2018年12月退休前提出，在谴责中共的恶劣人权记录和推动中国人权改善方面，公民力量长年和Michael Danby 保持密切合作。2017年，美国、加拿大、英国、立陶宛、爱沙尼亚、拉脱维亚已经通过了全球马格尼茨基法案，公民力量把目标投向了日本、澳大利亚和德国，并选择在日本举办第12届族群青年领袖研习营，专门请澳大利亚众议员Michael Danby出席，商讨在澳大利亚推动马格尼茨基法案的事宜，在研习营上举办了该议题的训练班。
马格尼茨基法案是对美国等国家通过立法对独裁国家的人权侵害和腐败官员进行惩罚一系列行动的俗称，每个国家给本质内容相同法案冠以不同的名称。马格尼茨基法案始于美国，美国2012立法对迫害律师马格尼茨基致死的俄国官员进行惩罚，背后主要的推手是加入英国籍的美国商人Bill Browder, 马格尼茨基是他在俄国公司的税务律师，因揭露俄国官员侵占大量税金被投入监狱而迫害致死。2016年12月美国通过了全球马格尼茨基问责法案对全球范围内的侵害人权和腐败的官员实施惩罚，惩罚的内容包括限制入境美国和冻结在美财产。马格尼茨基为人权工作者提供了一个非常重要的工具，有时谴责“政府”的效果不如惩罚个人，使个体的人权恶棍有所忌惮，所以国际人权界很重视马格尼茨基法案。
January 31, 2020
Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
PO Box 6021
Canberra ACT 2600 Australia
Re: Inquiry into whether Australia should enact legislation comparable to the United States Magnitsky Act
Dear Members of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade,
We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, are writing to applaud the Australian Parliament’s inquiry into whether Australia should enact legislation comparable to the United States Magnitsky Act. We humbly ask the Australian Parliament to follow up this inquiry by introducing and passing legislation on targeted sanctions against government officials for having committed gross human rights violations or acts of high-level corruption.
Many of us are participants in the U.S.-based International Religious Freedom (IRF) Roundtable. With ten years of continuous operations, the IRF Roundtable is an informal group of individuals from non-governmental organizations who gather regularly to discuss the most pressing issues facing communities and individuals of all faiths and no faith, when they have their right to religious freedom violated. Further, the IRF Roundtable is a multifaith venue for collaboration to advance the right to religious freedom, which is a fundamental human right for everyone, no matter his or her specific faith. Members of the IRF Roundtable and its Justice and Accountability Working Group have recommended cases to the U.S. government for sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act.
Religious freedom has come under increasing attack over the past decade. According to the Pew Research Center’s latest annual study on global restrictions on religion, 83% of the world’s population lived in countries with high or very high levels of restrictions and/or hostilities in 2017, up from 79% in 2015, 74% in 2014; and 68% in 2007. We recommend that the Joint Standing Committee give special consideration to severe violations of freedom of religion or belief as defined in Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Specifically, we recommend that the Joint Standing Committee follow the examples of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and other countries, and provide a mechanism for sanctioning government officials who are “responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights” against the exercise of human rights and the rooting out of corruption. It is especially important for Australia to pass such a law given its import and influence throughout the Indo-Pacific region, where gross human rights and religious freedom violations continue, and in many cases, are increasing.
We further recommend that the Magnitsky Law incorporate, as part of its enforcement, a mechanism for regular consultation between the implementing agencies and human rights advocates, civil society organizations and victim witnesses both in Australia and in countries of concern. From our experience, such regular consultation is key to the effective implementation of the Global Magnitsky Act and other sanctions and human rights monitoring regimes in the United States and globally.
Finally, it is imperative that the Magnitsky Law includes measures to protect individuals who report rights violations from reprisal by those being reported. One possible measure would be to mandate that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs publish an annual “reprisals” report that lists specific incidents of reprisal and the identity of those responsible for each act of reprisal.
We again applaud the Australian Parliament’s intention to enact legislation comparable to the U.S. Global Magnitsky Act.