William Browder Hails the Estonian President for Being the First European to Sign the Magnitsky Law

December 9, 2016


For Immediate distribution


William Browder Hails the Estonian President for Being the First European to Sign the Magnitsky Law


09 December 2016 – Earlier today, the Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid signed the first European Magnitsky Act into Law. The law will deny entry to human rights violators from any country to Estonia.


This is the first Magnitsky law to be adopted in the European Union.  It follows yesterday’s passage of the Global Magnitsky Act in the United States.


“President Kaljulaid has taken a quantum leap forward in the global fight against corruption and human rights,” said William Browder, leader of the global Magnitsky justice campaign. “We expect other European countries to follow soon. In the future, there will be nowhere to hide for corrupt officials and human rights violators.”


Speaking at a public ceremony today, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid said Estonia took the lead in implementing the recommendations of the European Parliament and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for the adoption of Magnitsky sanctions by member countries.


“The act was elaborated to consider the recommendations of the European Parliament and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly regarding the refusal of a visa to those persons who are guilty of violating the human rights of Sergei Magnitsky and causing his death, which could be imposed in future similar situations.”


The law was signed as part of International Human Rights day in front of several hundred people at the Annual Human Rights Conference of the Estonian Institute of Human Rights.


Putin’s critic in exile Mikhail Khordokovsky attended the ceremony.


The Estonian Magnitsky law, introduced by Estonian Reform Party MP Eerik-Niiles Kross in June 2016, was passed in the Estonian Parliament yesterday with 90 votes in favour and zero votes against.


Sergei Magnitsky, a 37-year old Russian lawyer, uncovered and testified about a US$230 million fraud by Russian officials and organized criminals. He was arrested by some of the same officials he had implicated in his testimony, kept in detention without trial for 358 days, and killed on 16 November 2009. Russia closed the investigation into his death due to absence of a crime, promoted police officers involved in his arrest, and exonerated tax officials involved in the US$230 million fraud.


The Estonian legislation coincides with several Magnitsky legislative initiatives currently taking place around the world, including a Global Magnitsky Act which was passed yesterday in the United States, a UK Magnitsky Amendment which was tabled in the UK Parliament last week, and a Global Magnitsky law which is underway in Canada.


President Kersti Kaljulaid’s speech in Estonian:

Vabariigi President Inimõiguste aastakonverentsil 9.12.2016 Tallinnas










President Kersti Kaljulaid signs the Estonian Magnitsky Law        © Kaupo Kikkas




For more information, please contact:


Justice for Sergei Magnitsky

+44 207 440 1777

e-mail: info@lawandorderinrussia.org





Text of speech in Estonian and photos of the law’s signing:


Full English translation of speech by President Kersti Kaljulaid: https://www.president.ee/en/media/press-releases/12785-the-head-of-state-proclaimed-a-law-at-this-years-annual-conference-of-human-rights/index.html



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