Sergei Magnitsky’s Widow Requests That Film Slandering Her Murdered Husband is Withdrawn From Norwegian Film Festival

May 30, 2016


For Immediate distribution

Sergei Magnitsky’s Widow Requests That Film Slandering Her Murdered Husband is Withdrawn From Norwegian Film Festival


30 May 2016 – The widow of Sergei Magnitsky has written to the Norwegian Kortfilmfestivalen requesting the festival to withdraw the film, which posthumously slanders her murdered husband, from its June 2016 program.


“The family of Sergei Magnitsky opposes the distribution of “The Magnitsky Act” film by Russian filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov in any form, given its false and defamatory content, highly degrading of the deceased Sergei Magnitsky and hurtful to the feelings of the Magnitsky mother and widow,” said the Magnitsky family in their statement.


“There is no public interest in publishing and distributing information that is knowingly false, especially when this information causes pain and suffering to the family of the deceased and is degrading to his memory. The knowing distribution of malicious falsehoods about a deceased person will make the festival complicit in it,” said Sergei Magnitsky’s widow.


Russian filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov claimed in his interview in a Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet on 26 May 2016 that he had conducted ”intensive research” on which the film is based.


The Magnitsky family strongly disagrees, saying:


“Had Andrei Nekrasov genuinely conducted the research, he would have come across publicly available evidence that contradicts his assertions, and demonstrates that they are untrue.” “It is clear from the review of the public record on the Magnitsky case, however, that no responsible research was conducted.”


In his film, Andrei Nekrasov claims that Sergei Magnitsky was not a lawyer, when official Russian court records and Magnitsky’s own testimony demonstrates the falsity of this claim, showing that Magnitsky represented clients in courts and identified himself as a lawyer.


Next, Nekrasov falsely claims that Sergei Magnitsky did not blow the whistle on the complicity of Russian police officers in the fraud in his testimony before his arrest, when Sergei Magnitsky named the officers 27 times in his 5 June 2008 testimony.


Nekrasov also falsely claims that Sergei Magnitsky had not been beaten before his death in custody, when this is contradicted by official autopsy photos showing serious injuries. It is also contradicted by: the Russian state death certificate referring to a cerebral cranial injury; the Russian government’s record describing the use of rubber batons on Magnitsky the night he died; and the Russian government’s expert conclusion describing Magnitsky’s injuries coming from blunt force trauma.


In addition, Andrei Nekrasov falsely claims that somebody else, not Sergei Magnitsky, reported the US$230 million fraud, despite the documentary evidence that the first report about the US$230 million fraud was made in July 2008 by Hermitage on the basis of Magnitsky’s investigation into the crime.


Because of the demonstrably false and defamatory content, the screening of the film by Andrei Nekrasov has been cancelled at the European Parliament, by French TV station ARTE and German TV station ZDF.


The false and defamatory information about Sergei Magnitsky presented in this film is contrary to the evidence from Russian government bodies, investigations by independent Russian human rights organisations, findings and conclusions by numerous international organisations including the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE, the Moscow Helsinki Group, the US Helsinki Commission, the US Congress, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, the UN Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, and others.


“In addition to presenting false information about Sergei Magnitsky, degrading his memory and his sacrifice, the film presents a fictionalised portrayal of Sergei Magnitsky as a person, creates a fictitious identity of him and presents his fictitious conversations with others, that are untrue, and removed from reality, that also do not justify and contradict the depiction of this film as ”documentary,” said the Magnitsky family.


Kortfilmfestivalen in Norway has been informed of the Magnitsky family’s concern against displaying or in any other way distributing the film’s content, contrary to the Norwegian Damages Act, which prohibits distribution of false information to cause harm to people’s reputation.


For further information please contact:


Justice for Sergei Magnitsky

+44 207 440 1777



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