Boris Nemtsov Posthumously Awarded Sergei Magnitsky 2015 Human Rights Prize for Democracy

November 17, 2015


For Immediate Distribution


Boris Nemtsov Posthumously Awarded Sergei Magnitsky 2015 Human Rights Prize for Democracy


16 November 2015 – Tonight Boris Nemtsov, the Russian politician who was assassinated near the Kremlin in late February this year, was posthumously awarded the Sergei Magnitsky 2015 Human Rights Prize for Democracy.

Boris Nemtsov was a courageous man, and a true friend of the Magnitsky Justice campaign. He was a steadfast supporter of our initiative to impose targeted Western sanctions on Russian officials involved in human rights abuse and corruption. Boris shamed weak Western diplomats who tried to appease the Russian leader, because he was convinced that the sanctions are the necessary, effective and morally right way to stand up to Russian official impunity,” said William Browder, leader of the Justice for Sergei Magnitsky campaign.

Both Boris and Sergei were optimists and believed in a brighter future for Russia. They show us that Russia produces great people with humanity and integrity. Their loss is a tragedy for Russia and the world. The fact that both were killed in cold blood, and in both cases those responsible have not been brought to account, is the call for action. We cannot bring Boris and Sergei back, but we owe it to them to carry on with our cause, to seek justice in the form of further Magnitsky sanctions on corrupt officials and human rights violators by countries around the world,” said William Browder.

The Sergei Magnitsky awards ceremony was held tonight in London on the 6th anniversary of Sergei Magnitsky’s murder in Russian police custody.

Other winners of the Sergei Magnitsky 2015 Human Rights Awards include prominent policy makers, journalists, and human rights activists, who have worked in the spirit of Sergei Magnitsky — with faith, strength and integrity, to reinforce and advance his legacy, and bring about significant change in the international justice and human rights field.

The winners of the 2015 ‘Sergei Magnitsky Human Rights Awards’ are:

1)      Boris Nemtsov (posthumously and accepted by his daughter Zhanna Nemtsova), Russian opposition leader (Special Award for Campaigning for Democracy);

2)      Guy Verhofstadt, Member of European Parliament (Campaigning European Politician Award), co-author of Magnitsky Sanctions Resolution in the European Parliament;

3)      Jim McGovern, U.S. Congressman (Campaigning US Politician Award), co-author of the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act adopted by the US Congress;

4)      The Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, an anti-corruption and investigative journalism NGO (Outstanding Investigative Journalism Award, accepted by Paul Radu and Roman Anin) who investigated and publicised the transnational money laundering trail from the $230 million theft uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky;

5)      Andrew Rettman, European journalist with EU Observer (Outstanding European Coverage of Magnitsky Case Award) who covered political aspects of the Magnitsky case in the EU;

6)      James O’Brien, British journalist, television and radio presenter, and a show host on LBC talk station (Outstanding British Coverage of Magnitsky Case Award) who shamed the British government in their weak response to the Magnitsky case;

7)      Geoffrey Robertson QC, international lawyer (Outstanding Contribution to Human Rights Law Award), author of publications on Magnitsky sanctions legislation;

8)      The Oslo Freedom Forum, a human rights conference platform (Best Human Rights NGO Award, accepted by Thor Halvorssen) who promoted policy debate on Magnitsky sanctions and human rights; and

9)      The Hon. Irwin Cotler, former Attorney General and Justice Minister of Canada (Outstanding Contribution to Global Magnitsky Campaign), author of the Magnitsky bill in the Canadian Parliament, and chair of the Justice for Sergei Magnitsky Inter-Parliamentary Group.

The organising committee of the Global Sergei Magnitsky Human Rights Awards this year consists of activists from major international organizations, including Transparency International, The Henry Jackson Society, Fair Trials International, the Central and Eastern European Council of Canada, and the British Parliament’s All-Party Group on Anti-Corruption.

The Sergei Magnitsky Human Rights Awards, a newly-launched international human rights prize, are advanced by the Magnitsky family as a “beacon of support” for all those who fight injustice around the world, and promoted by the Justice for Magnitsky campaign.

Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer, uncovered the largest publicly-known corruption case in Russia involving the theft of $230 million, and testified about it naming complicit officials. He was arrested by some of the implicated officials, held for 358 days in pre-trial detention in torturous conditions, and killed in Russian police custody on 16 November 2009.

For more information please contact:                    


Justice for Sergei Magnitsky


+44 207 440 1777


Twitter: @KatieFisher__



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