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Engel To Tillerson: Reverse Browder Visa Decision

Oct 23, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to reverse the State Department’s decision to suspend the visa of Bill Browder, a prominent Kremlin critic who has been a frequent target of President Vladimir Putin’s aggression. Over the weekend, Russia placed Mr. Browder on an Interpol watch list seeking his arrest.

“I urge you to immediately reverse the Department of State’s baffling decision to revoke Bill Browder’s visa and explain why the Department took this misguided action,” Representative Engel wrote. “This decision harms American credibility on the world stage, and it is unacceptable. I expect that you will remedy this error at once and explain to me and other lawmakers why this happened in the first place.”

Full text of the letter follows and can be found here.

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I urge you to immediately reverse the Department of State’s baffling decision to revoke Bill Browder’s visa and explain why the Department took this misguided action.

It was reported over the weekend that Russia once again placed Mr. Browder—a prominent Kremlin critic and leader of the Justice for Sergei Magnitsky Campaign—on an Interpol watch list seeking his arrest. This request is nonsense, of course, and is merely President Putin’s latest effort to silence one of his fiercest critics. By giving this effort credence and revoking Mr. Browder’s visa, the Trump Administration is playing into Putin’s hands.

This decision harms American credibility on the world stage, and it is unacceptable. I expect that you will remedy this error at once and explain to me and other lawmakers why this happened in the first place.

Sincerely,

ELIOT L. ENGEL

Ranking Member

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