Sergei Magnitsky Human Rights Awards Will Be Launched on the 6th Anniversary of Sergei Magnitsky’s Murder in Russian Police Custody
November 12, 2015
12 November 2015 – On the eve of the 6th anniversary of the murder of Russian anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, the Justice for Sergei Magnitsky campaign is launching the ‘Sergei Magnitsky Human Rights Awards.’
The awards will celebrate international politicians, journalists and civil society 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 will be announced next week, on Monday, 16 November 2015, marking the 6th anniversary of Sergei Magnitsky’s death in Russian police custody at the age of 37.
“Sergei Magnitsky’s impact on the world has only gained in significance in the years after his death. We hope that the Sergei Magnitsky Human Rights Awards will serve as a beacon of support for all those who fight injustice around the world,” said Sergei Magnitsky’s mother Nataliya.
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 will be given in 9 categories, including Outstanding Investigative Journalism; Top Campaigning US Politician, Top European Politicians; Best Human Rights NGO; Outstanding Contribution to the Global Magnitsky Campaign; Outstanding Coverage of Magnitsky Case in Britain and in Europe; the Best Human Rights Lawyer; and the Top Campaigner for Democracy.
Alan Mendoza, Executive Director, Henry Jackson Society, said:
“The inaugural Sergei Magnitsky Award is an important event, and we are very happy to be involved. The Award ceremony represents the pinnacle of years of support that The Henry Jackson Society has given to the Global Magnitsky Campaign, and we look forward to continuing that support for years to come.”
Robert Barrington, Executive Director of Transparency International UK said:
“Investigative journalists are a vital part of the efforts to uncover and ultimately fight corruption in all its forms. Whether it’s exposing the lavish lifestyle of a corrupt state official, or unearthing widespread bribery in businesses, investigative journalists have proved effective campaigners against corruption. Often they will work in extremely restricted environments, putting life and limb on the line to unmask the corrupt. That’s why Transparency International is proud to be supporting the award for investigative journalism at the Sergei Magnitsky Human Rights Awards this year.”
Sergei Magnitsky’s torture and death in Russian police custody, and the subsequent cover-up of his murder and the theft of the $230 million corruption he had exposed, has led to the worldwide Justice for Sergei Magnitsky Campaign. Launched in 2010, it spearheaded the adoption in the United States of the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012. The U.S. Magnitsky law imposes targeted sanctions in the form of visa bans and asset freezes on those involved in his case, as well as in other gross human rights abuses against democracy defenders in Russia. 34 Russian officials and private individuals have been placed on the U.S. Magnitsky sanctions list since the enactment of the law.
The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly has called on all its member states to adopt similar sanctions on those involved in Sergei Magnitsky’s case.
Sergei Magnitsky was posthumously given the 2010 International Integrity Award by Transparency International for taking a personal stand against Russian corruption and paying for it with his life.
Earlier this year Sergei Magnitsky was honoured by the Allard Prize Committee for International Integrity (Canada), which recognizes individuals and organisations who show exceptional courage and leadership in combating corruption.
This year Sergei Magnitsky was also posthumously awarded one of the world’s most prestigious individual achievement prizes, the Joshua Heintz Humanitarian Award, for distinguished achievement in the field of international justice awarded by the organization of former Chief Prosecutors of the UN War Crimes Tribunals.
In Russia, Sergei Magnitsky was tried posthumously, three and a half years after his death, in the first-ever posthumous trial in Russian history. Russian authorities also closed the investigation into his death in police custody finding “no signs of crime,” in spite of conclusions to the contrary drawn by two independent domestic commissions, including the Moscow Public Oversight Commission and the President’s Human Rights Council, as well as by the international investigation carried out in 2012-2013 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe which urged Russia to conduct proper investigation or face US-like Magnitsky sanctions.
For more information please contact:
Justice for Sergei Magnitsky
+44 207 440 1777