Poland and Bulgaria Call for Justice in the Magnitsky Case

February 15, 2012

The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated that they will develop a common and strong European Union position into the death of Sergei Magnitsky and will urge Russia to conduct a transparent investigation into his false arrest, torture and death consistent with international standards. If that doesn’t take place, Poland will work with its EU partners in implementing a European Union visa ban.

The Polish Foreign Affairs Ministry stated its position last week in a letter received by the Polish Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights.

The Polish Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights said:

“Due to the serious human rights violations, the death of Sergei Magnitsky can not be treated as an exclusively internal affair of Russia. During two years since his death, the perpetrators have not been duly punished and some officers allegedly responsible for his death were even awarded promotions.”

In 2011, the Polish Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights called on the Polish Foreign Minister to impose visa sanctions and asset freezes on the Russian officials in the Magnitsky case, who have not been prosecuted in Russia.

In a dramatic turn for the worse, the same Russian officials who were responsible for the false arrest, torture and death of Sergei Magnitsky, have launched an unprecedented posthumous prosecution against Sergei Magnitsky two years after he died.

The U.S. State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, condemned this prosecution last week saying,

“Pursuing criminal charges against Sergey Magnitsky serves no purpose other than to deflect attention away from the circumstances surrounding this tragic case. We continue to call for Russian authorities to bring those responsible for Mr. Magnitsky’s death to justice.”

The Polish statements follow the Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikolai Mladenov, urging that the Magnitsky case be raised as a specific point in the EU-Russia dialogue on human rights.

Speaking to the Bulgarian Parliament, Minister Mladenov said:

“The Sergei Magnitsky case is one of the most unpleasant cases in recent Russian history. Bulgaria supports the call by Catherine Ashton, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, for Russia to conduct a swift and thorough investigation of all facts and circumstances connected to the arrest and death of Sergei Magnitsky and to bring those responsible for justice.”

The Bulgarian Foreign Affairs Minister also urged creating a common EU position on the Magnitsky case.


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