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S. 3155: Jamal Khashoggi Human Rights Act


The text of the bill below is as of Nov 3, 2021 (Introduced).


II

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 3155

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

November 3, 2021

(for himself, Mr. Leahy, and Mr. Wyden) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

A BILL

To impose sanctions with respect to individuals responsible for the death of Jamal Khashoggi, to protect human rights in the sale, export, and transfer of defense articles and defense services to Saudi Arabia, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Jamal Khashoggi Human Rights Act.

2.

Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1)

On October 2, 2018, Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered by agents of the Government of Saudi Arabia in the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul, Turkey, after having been monitored through commercial surveillance software.

(2)

In 2019, the Department of Justice charged 2 Saudi Arabian former employees of Twitter with acting as illegal agents of the Government of Saudi Arabia, using their employee access to obtain private information on dissidents and critics of Saudi Arabia at the behest of that Government, and, according to public reporting and human rights groups, the Government of Saudi Arabia has also used commercial spyware to monitor the movements and communications of dozens of activists and journalists around the world and in the United States.

(3)

On July 30, 2019, the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate approved, in a bipartisan vote, S. 398, 116th Congress, known as the Saudi Arabia Accountability and Yemen Act of 2019, which required, among other things, the imposition of sanctions on any person involved in the death of Jamal Khashoggi.

(4)

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (Public Law 116–92; 133 Stat. 1198), enacted on December 20, 2019, required the Director of National Intelligence to submit to Congress a report including the identification of those who carried out, participated in, ordered, or were otherwise complicit in or responsible for the death of Jamal Khashoggi.

(5)

On February 26, 2021, consistent with the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, the Director of National Intelligence released a report entitled Assessing the Saudi Government’s Role in the Killing of Jamal Khashoggi, concluding that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the operation that killed Khashoggi. The Director's report also identified other senior officials of the Government of Saudi Arabia who participated in, ordered, or were otherwise complicit in or responsible for the death of Jamal Khashoggi on behalf of Muhammad bin Salman.

(6)

Section 7031(c) of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Public Law 116–260) requires the Secretary of State to deny entry into the United States of officials of foreign governments and their immediate family members about whom the Secretary of State has credible information have been involved, directly or indirectly, in … a gross violation of human rights.

(7)

Section 6 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2756) prohibits weapons transfers to foreign countries determined by the President to be engaged in a pattern of acts of intimidation or harassment directed against individuals in the United States.

(8)

In February 2020, the Federal Bureau of Investigation declassified its assessment that officials of the Government of Saudi Arabia almost certainly assist United States-based [citizens of Saudi Arabia] in fleeing the United States because of legal issues, undermining the United States judicial process.

(9)

Section 502B(a)(3) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2304(a)(3)) directs the President to formulate and conduct international security assistance programs of the United States in a manner which will avoid identification of the United States, through such programs, with governments which deny to their people internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms.

(10)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has affirmed the United States national interest in preventing authoritarian foreign governments from reaching beyond their borders to intimidate or harm persons within the United States, stating, As a matter of safety for all within our borders, perpetrators targeting perceived dissidents on behalf of any foreign government should not be permitted to reach American soil … We have made absolutely clear that extraterritorial threats and assaults by Saudi Arabia against activists, dissidents, and journalists must end..

3.

Imposition of sanctions with respect to persons responsible for the death of Jamal Khashoggi

(a)

In general

On and after the date that is 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, all persons named in the qualifying report shall be subject to the same sanctions as a person included on the list of specially designated nationals and blocked persons maintained by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Department of the Treasury.

(b)

National security waiver

(1)

In general

The President may, on a case-by-case basis, waive for a period of not more than 90 days the imposition of sanctions under subsection (a) with respect to a person if the President submits to the appropriate congressional committees—

(A)

a written determination that the waiver is vital to the national security interests of the United States;

(B)

a detailed explanation of how the waiver is vital to those interests; and

(C)

a certification that the Government of Saudi Arabia is making significant progress toward meeting the following criteria:

(i)

The Government of Saudi Arabia has brought to justice officials of the Government of Saudi Arabia and members of the royal family of Saudi Arabia named in the qualifying report.

(ii)

The Government of Saudi Arabia is not detaining, charging, or imposing travel bans on citizens or legal residents of the United States or any other third country for political reasons, including criticism of policies of that Government, peaceful advocacy of political beliefs, or the pursuit of United States citizenship.

(iii)

The Government of Saudi Arabia is cooperating in outstanding criminal proceedings in the United States in which a citizen or national of Saudi Arabia departed from the United States while the citizen or national was awaiting trial or sentencing for a criminal offense committed in the United States.

(iv)

The Government of Saudi Arabia is not detaining, charging, or imposing travel bans on citizens of Saudi Arabia, including civil society activists, journalists, bloggers, lawyers, or religious figures, for political reasons, including criticism of policies of that Government or peaceful advocacy of political beliefs.

(v)

The Government of Saudi Arabia has disbanded any units of its intelligence or security apparatus dedicated to the forced repatriation of dissidents or critical voices in other countries.

(vi)

The Government of Saudi Arabia has made meaningful commitments to a multilateral framework on the lawful use, sale, and transfer of digital surveillance items and services that can be used to abuse human rights.

(vii)

The Government of Saudi Arabia has instituted meaningful legal reforms to protect the rights of freedom of expression, religion, and due process, and women’s rights, in its judicial system.

(2)

Renewal

A waiver issued under paragraph (1) with respect to an individual may be renewed, on a case-by-case basis, if the President submits to the appropriate congressional committees, with respect to each such waiver, the determination, explanation, and certification required under paragraph (1).

(c)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Appropriate congressional committees

The term appropriate congressional committees means—

(A)

the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Appropriations, and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate; and

(B)

the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Appropriations, and the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives.

(2)

Qualifying report

The term qualifying report means the report issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence entitled Assessing the Saudi Government’s Role in the Killing of Jamal Khashoggi, dated February 11, 2021, and declassified by Director of National Intelligence Avril D. Haines on February 25, 2021.

4.

Report on and suspension of assistance for incidents of arbitrary detention, violence, and state-sanctioned harassment by the Government of Saudi Arabia against United States persons and family members

(a)

Report required

(1)

In general

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 180 days thereafter, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on incidents of arbitrary detention, violence, and state-sanctioned harassment committed by the Government of Saudi Arabia against United States persons, or their family members who are not United States persons, in the United States or foreign countries.

(2)

Matters to be included

Each report required by paragraph (1) shall include the following:

(A)

A detailed description of the incidents described in paragraph (1) that took place during the 1-year period preceding the date on which the report is submitted.

(B)

A certification of whether Saudi Arabia is engaging in a consistent pattern of acts of intimidation or harassment directed against individuals in the United States for purposes of section 6 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2756).

(C)

A description of any actions taken to deter incidents of intimidation or harassment committed by the security agencies of such Government against United States persons and their family members who are not United States persons.

(3)

Form

Each report required by paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex if necessary.

(b)

Suspension of assistance

If the President determines in any report submitted under subsection (a) that the Government of Saudi Arabia has engaged in a pattern of acts of intimidation or harassment directed against United States persons or their family members who are not United States persons, the President shall cancel or suspend any letter of offer, credit, guarantee, or export license with the Government, in compliance with section 6 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2756), until such time as the President determines that the pattern of acts of intimidation or harassment has ceased.

(c)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Appropriate congressional committees

The term appropriate congressional committees means—

(A)

the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Finance, and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate; and

(B)

the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Ways and Means, and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives.

(2)

United states person

The term United States person means—

(A)

a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence to the United States; or

(B)

an entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States, including a foreign branch of such entity.

5.

Protection of human rights in the sale, export, and transfer of defense articles and defense services to Saudi Arabia

(a)

Assessment and certifications required

(1)

In general

Not later than 30 days before any letter of offer to sell a defense article or defense service controlled for export to Saudi Arabia is concluded, or any license to export or transfer such an article or service to Saudi Arabia is authorized, the Secretary of State shall transmit to the appropriate congressional committees the following:

(A)

An assessment by the Secretary of the risk that the article or service will be used in the commission of violations of international humanitarian law or internationally recognized human rights.

(B)

A certification that the Government of Saudi Arabia has provided a written commitment not to use such article or service in the commission, or to enable the commission, of a violation of international humanitarian law or internationally recognized human rights.

(C)

A certification that an effective end-use monitoring program will be instituted to ensure that such article or service is not used to violate international humanitarian law or internationally recognized human rights.

(D)

A certification that the United States Government has secured the legal right to require the return of any United States-origin defense article sold, exported, or transferred to Saudi Arabia if the article has been used in the commission, or has enabled the commission, of a violation of international humanitarian law or internationally recognized human rights.

(2)

Biannual report on end-use monitoring

On a biannual basis, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the results of the end-use monitoring program described in paragraph (1)(C).

(b)

Restriction on services

(1)

In general

No export license may be issued and no letter of offer may be concluded by the United States Government for the provision of services for military, paramilitary, security, or intelligence-gathering activities to Saudi Arabia.

(2)

Exceptions

The restriction under paragraph (1) shall not apply to the provision, under the supervision and monitoring of United States Government personnel, of logistics, supply, repair, support, or training services associated with the lawful export of defense articles, or training in support of those services, upon certification by the Secretary of State to the appropriate committees of Congress that such services will not be used in the surveillance or harassment of activists, critics of the Government of Saudi Arabia, journalists, bloggers, lawyers, and religious figures in Saudi Arabia.

(3)

End-use monitoring

Beginning not later than 45 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and thereafter on a quarterly basis, the Secretary shall—

(A)

verify whether any defense services provided pursuant to export licenses or other authorizations are enabling the provision of services described in paragraph (1); and

(B)

submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the results of such verification.

(c)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Appropriate congressional committees

The term appropriate congressional committees means—

(A)

the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Finance of the Senate; and

(B)

the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives.

(2)

Defense article; defense service

The terms defense article and defense service have the meanings given those terms in section 47 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2794).

6.

Briefings and report on use of commercial surveillance technology against journalists

(a)

Briefings

Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act and periodically thereafter upon request, the Secretary of State, the Chief Executive Officer of the United States Agency for Global Media, and the heads of other relevant agencies shall provide briefings to the appropriate congressional committees on—

(1)

the utilization by foreign governments, including the Government of Saudi Arabia, of commercially available cyberintrusion and other surveillance technology to target journalists, media companies, dissidents and activists, and United States persons and interests; and

(2)

the efforts the executive branch is taking to combat such utilization.

(b)

Report required

(1)

In general

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on—

(A)

the utilization by foreign governments, including the Government of Saudi Arabia, of commercially available cyberintrusion and other surveillance technology to target journalists, media companies, dissidents and activists, and United States persons and interests; and

(B)

the efforts the executive branch is taking to combat such utilization.

(2)

Form

Thereport required by paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex if necessary.

(c)

Appropriate congressional committees defined

In this section, the term appropriate congressional committees means—

(1)

the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Finance, and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate; and

(2)

the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Ways and Means, and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives.

7.

Jamal Khashoggi Press Freedom Award

(a)

Establishment of award

The Secretary of State may annually present the Jamal Khashoggi Press Freedom Award (referred to in this section as the Award) to not more than 5 individuals or organizations who have demonstrated extraordinary efforts in journalism in the face of harassment, detention, prosecution, or obstruction by foreign governments or non-state actors.

(b)

Eligible recipients

To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary of State shall present the Award to—

(1)

individuals who are United States citizens or foreign nationals; and

(2)

domestic or foreign private, nongovernmental organizations.

(c)

Selection procedure

The Secretary of State shall establish procedures for selecting recipients of the Award.

(d)

Report

The Secretary of State shall submit an annual report to the appropriate congressional committees that—

(1)

lists the recipients of the Award for that year; and

(2)

explains the procedures for selecting such recipients.

(e)

Award ceremony

(1)

In general

The Secretary of State shall host an annual ceremony for recipients of the Award as soon as practicable after the date on which the Secretary submits the report required under subsection (d).

(2)

Travel expenses

The Secretary of State may pay the reasonable travel costs incurred by each Award recipient and his or her guest to attend the ceremony.

(f)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated, for each of the fiscal years 2022 through 2027, such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.

(g)

Appropriate congressional committees defined

In this section, the term appropriate congressional committees means—

(1)

the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and

(2)

the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.