December 11, 2013

Today, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling on the EU Council of Ministers to adopt a common list of Russian officials to be sanctioned for their role in the torture and murder of 37-year Russian whistle-blowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. Under the targeted sanctions regime already adopted in the United States, these Russian officials will be prohibited from traveling to and banking in the EU.
The Resolution entitled “Human Rights in the World 2012 and EU Policy on the Matter” was passed by the majority of the European Parliament. It says:
“The European Parliament … calls on the Council, therefore, to adopt a decision establishing a common EU list of officials involved in the death of Sergei Magnitsky; adds that this Council decision should impose targeted sanctions on those officials.”
“If the EU Council acts on the explicit will of the European people, then we will finally see Magnitsky’s torturers and murderers unable to travel to Europe and spend their blood money there,” said William Browder, a leader of the global Magnitsky justice campaign.
In its human rights report, the European Parliament has also expressed its “regret” with the EU Council‘s failure to consider the Parliament‘s recommendation from October of last year on the Magnitsky case which called for the implementation of sanctions on Russian officials. This is the fourth resolution of the European Parliament calling on the EU Council to implement Magnitsky sanctions since Sergei Magnitsky’s death in Russian custody in 2009. So far, the EU Council has refused to act on these continued calls for sanctions.
Last year the Magnitsky sanctions were adopted by the US Congress. The U.S. President Barack Obama signed the Magnitsky Law on 14 December 2012, imposing the targeted sanctions on officials in Magnitsky case and other human rights violators.
Sergei Magnitsky blew the whistle on the largest known theft of public tax money in Russian history. A month after his testimony, he was arrested and for 358 days held in detention without trial. When he developed pancreatitis and gallstones in custody, he was systematically denied medical care and prescribed surgery. On 16 November 2009, Magnitsky was secretly transferred from Butyrka to another prison, Matrosskaya Tishina, where he was handcuffed and beaten. Russian authorities refused to investigate his death, and found this year “no evidence” of crime. Numerous requests from the Magnitsky family for the investigation into his torture and murder were refused by Russian investigators and courts.

See Report adopted by the European Parliament:


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