Kosovo government announced it adopted the Magnitsky Act to penalize human rights abusers, in line with the US practice since 2012.
The news was announced on Twitter by Foreign Minister Behgjet Pacolli:
“I’m proud that today the government of Kosovo established the Kosovo Magnitsky Act sanction[ing] foreign government officials implicated in human rights abuses anywhere in the world in line with State Department’s practice. Kosovo takes [a] strategic step in align[ing] its foreign policy with the United States.
Together with the establishment of the Kosovo Magnitsky Act, we sanctioned individuals who are responsible for gross human rights violations. The Kosovo Magnitsky Act is the first in Southeast Europe. We remain a pillar of Euro-Atlantic orientation for region.”
The Magnitsky Act was signed by President Barack Obama in 2012. It took its name after Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian accountant who died in a Moscow prison in 2009, after he had investigated a $230 million fraud involving Russian tax officials.
In 2016, the bill was amended to authorize the US government to apply it globally, and sanction human right abusers by banning them from entering the country and by freezing their assets.
The list of individuals sanctioned by the Kosovo government has not been made public yet.