The Corner

A Little-Noticed Bill Sure to Put Dictators on Edge

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin visit the Hmeymim air base in Latakia Province, Syria, December 11, 2017. (Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/via Reuters)

A Syrian defector is quietly doing his part to take on foreign dictatorships.

The House of Representatives yesterday passed a landmark bill, whose proponents hope will increase the effectiveness of U.S. sanctions targeting human-rights-abusing regimes and Washington’s adversaries.

The idea is simple, yet unexpected. With sanctions’ targets engaged in all manner of sophisticated activities to evade seizure of their assets by U.S. authorities, the Bassam Barabandi Rewards for Justice Act gives the ordinary people — drivers, assistants, etc. — who serve foreign authoritarian elites an incentive to tip off the U.S. government about their efforts to evade sanctions.

All of this, the bill’s

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