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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