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Dr. Bains’ bill to protect residents from transnational repression clears Public Safety Committee

For immediate release:

(Sacramento, CA) April 9, 2024 - Dr. Jasmeet Bains’ (D-Delano) initial effort to address transnational repression with new legislation was approved with unanimous and bipartisan support at the Assembly Public Safety Committee Tuesday.

“The rise of transnational repression has taken many forms, and the tactics employed by these governments range from harassment to threats and even murder. In particular, the rise of social media has made the tools of harassment and intimidation more accessible than ever before,” Dr. Bains said.

AB 3027 represents a first historic step toward California recognizing the dangers of transnational repression. The bill defines transnational repression in law, requires local law enforcement to develop training to recognize and respond to transnational repression, and asserts that the State of California has a policy of protecting communities from transnational repression.

Transnational repression is any action by a foreign government that attacks or intimidates an individual outside its borders. The attacks can come in many forms, including extrajudicial killings, surveillance, cyberattacks, and online harassment.

In a coordinated attack on June 18, 2023, Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot and killed outside a place of worship in Surrey, British Columbia. By September 2023, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused the Indian government of organizing the killing and stated that there was credible evidence of a link between the killers and agents of the Indian Government.

United States law enforcement agencies thwarted an additional plot to murder an American Sikh, this time in New York City, in November 2023. The incident on United States soil also pointed to the credible involvement of the Indian Government.

Gregory Duralev, a Russian national and asylum seeker in the United States, experienced firsthand the repercussions of transnational repression. While living in the United States, he was arrested under an INTERPOL “Red Notice” and spent two years in immigration jail fighting his case. The Russian government had falsely accused him of fraud and made death threats against him after he shared a plan online to fight corruption in the Russian government.

“My story underscores the pressing need for legislative action to safeguard California residents from international oppression. This bill would become a powerful signal and deterrent sent to totalitarian regimes that the persecution of Californians will not be met with impunity,” Duralev said in a prepared statement.

The Assembly Emergency Management Committee will next consider the bill.

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