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US Government Sanctions Further Russian Human Rights Violators Under Magnitsky Act

January 9, 2017

PRESS RELEASE

For Imediate distribution

 

US Government Sanctions Further Russian Human Rights Violators Under Magnitsky Act

 

9 January 2017 – The US Government has sanctioned further individuals in the Magnitsky case, including its most high-profile designation to date – Alexander Bastrykin, head of the Russian State Investigative Committee.
The Magnitsky sanctions are the most effective tool available today for fighting the impunity of corrupt officials in Russia. Today’s release of the new names includes the highest level government official to date, Alexander Bastrykin. In addition to the role he played in the Magnitsky case, he has been responsible for many other shocking human rights abuse cases. His inclusion on this list is a major victory in our fight for justice in Russia,” said William Browder, leader of global Magnitsky justice campaign.

 

Alexander Bastrykin, in his capacity as head of the Investigative Committee, personally oversaw the investigations into the false arrest, torture and death in Russian police custody of Sergei Magnitsky who had uncovered the US$230 million theft by Russian officials.

 

In spite of the conclusions of the Russian President’s Human Rights Council on the wrongful arrest of Sergei Magnitsky and the conflict of interest of implicated officials, the Bastrykin-led Investigative Committee closed the death investigation, finding no crime was committed by any Russian officials.

 

Bastrykin directed and publicly justified the exoneration of all officials involved. In his interview to the Russian state newspaper, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, on 7 September 2010, Alexander Bastrykin said:

 

There is no ground to think that his [Magnitsky’s] death was connected to actions of officials who prosecuted him. There is no objective information showing that he was prosecuted illegally or that the physical and psychological pressure was applied to him.”
Another sanctioned official under today’s designations is Stanislav Gordievsky from the Russian Investigative Committee, to whom Sergei Magnitsky gave testimony on 5 June 2008 and 7 October 2008 identifying the officials and organised criminals involved in the theft of companies and the US$230 million of tax monies from the Russian government.

 

The names in Magnitsky’s testimony included Lt Col Artem Kuznetsov, Major Pavel Karpov, lawyers working for the criminal group Andrei Pavlov and Yulia Mairova and others. Instead of properly investigating the fraud and bringing the officials exposed by Magnitsky to justice, investigator Gordievsky requested one of the main named suspects – Lt Col Kuznetsov – to investigate himself – and then Gordievsky exonerated Kuznetsov from any wrong-doing.

 

In the subsequent testimony of 14 October 2009 from pre-trial detention, Sergei Magnitsky described this cover up in great detail:

 

“The same authorized operative Kuznetsov …provided the operational assistance on the case …initiated by the Investigative Committee… on the subject of the theft of the companies. In addition, he was providing operational assistance on the criminal case under which I was accused. I believe that the criminal prosecution against me is the above person’s revenge against me, because during my meetings with investigator S.E. Gordievsky… I …expressed my opinion that Kuznetsov …. should be interrogated about the circumstances of stealing…., instead of being allowed to perform operational assistance on the case investigated by S.E. Gordievsky.

 

A third individual included today in the US Government’s Magnitsky list is Gennady Plaksin. Gennady Plaksin was a member of the Klyuev Organised Crime Group, and chairman of the board and nominal shareholder of Universal Savings Bank on behalf of Dmitry Klyuev, who is already subject to Magnitsky sanctions. Mr Plaksin appeared as a nominal claimant in a collusive court case orchestrated by the criminal group to steal US$230 million from the Russian government. Plaksin was involved in the creation of US$325 million of fictitious liabilities. Despite the evidence of his role in the US$230 million theft uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, Mr Plaksin was exonerated in Russia.

 

The US$230 million fraud was a sophisticated criminal conspiracy perpetrated in Russia to steal US$230 million of taxes paid by the three Russian companies of the Hermitage Fund, at the time the largest portfolio investor in Russia. The planning of the fraud scheme took place abroad, and money laundering of a substantial portion of the US$230 million fraud proceeds also took place outside of Russia and involved multiple international banks and accounts.

 

Hermitage’s outside lawyer Sergei Magnitsky uncovered the US$230 million fraud scheme and testified against those involved, including Andrei Pavlov.

 

Shortly thereafter, the Russian authorities arrested Sergei Magnitsky, and tried to force him to change his testimony subjecting him to cruel and degrading treatment during 358 days in pre-trial detention. When their attempts failed, Sergei Magnitsky was killed in Russian police detention at the age of 37, leaving a wife and two children.

 

The events of the Magnitsky case are described in the New-York Times best-seller “Red Notice” by William Browder and in a series of Magnitsky justice campaign videos on Youtube channel “Russian Untouchables.”

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Justice for Sergei Magnitsky

+44 207 440 1777

e-mail: info@lawandorderinrussia.org

www.lawandorderinrussia.org

billbrowder.com

twitter.com/Billbrowder

 



Magnitsky Campaign Releases Names of 28 Russian Officials Currently Involved in the Posthumous Cases Against Magnitsky for Inclusion on New International Sanctions Lists

December 27, 2016

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Distribution

Magnitsky Campaign Releases Names of 28 Russian Officials Currently Involved in the Posthumous Cases Against Magnitsky for Inclusion on New International Sanctions Lists

 

27 December 2016 – Today, the Global Campaign for Justice for Sergei Magnitsky published a list of 28 Russian officials involved in current criminal cases against Sergei Magnitsky in spite of the fact that he was killed in police custody in 2009.

 

The list includes 28 officials from the Russian Interior Ministry, Prosecutor’s Office, FSB and the Investigative Committee.

 

The release of these new names coincides with the consideration or passage of Magnitsky sanctions legislation in the United States, Canada, the U.K., Estonia and at the EU.

 

The two Russian officials who had instigated the persecution of Sergei Magnitsky posthumously – Deputy General Prosecutor Victor Grin and Interior Ministry investigator Oleg Urzhumtsev – have already been sanctioned under the “Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act.

 

The Russian officials listed below have rejected numerous complaints filed by Magnitsky’s mother, Natalia Magnitskaya.

Mrs Magnitskaya’s most recent complaint filed by her lawyer with the Russian authorities seeking to end the posthumous persecution of her son, said:

 

It is currently known that the same criminal group [which stole US$230 million] perpetrated a number of similar crimes, and the amount of funds stolen from the budget is about US$800 million. S. Magnitsky was placed into custody on 24 November 2008 soon after he gave testimony implicating members of this criminal group. In a little less than a year, on 16 November 2009, he was found dead in the cell of the collection unit of Matrosskaya Tishina detention center. The location and nature of injuries on his body indisputably testify to the violent causes of the death of S.Magnitsky.

After S. Magnitsky was physically eliminated, investigator O. Urzhumtsev created a knowingly false version of the crime, as purportedly committed by S. Magnitsky himself, which was aimed to compromise the deceased and was monstrous in its cynicism and injustice.”

The Russian Interior Ministry refused Mrs Magnitskaya’s complaint against her son’s posthumous persecution on the ground that Mrs Magnitskaya did not have a procedural status to lodge this complaint, and said:

“The investigation sees no grounds to treat Mrs Magnitskaya as a person whose interests are affected by the criminal prosecution.”

 

The refusal of Mrs Magnitskaya’s complaint was prepared by Russian Interior Ministry investigator Ranchenkov pursuant to a criminal case about the laundered US$230 million proceeds of fraud – the crime uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky and in which he is being posthumously accused by the Russian authorities. This posthumous proceeding is currently overseen by deputy head of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department Krakovsky and deputy head of the Interior Ministry’s Directorate of Investigations of Organised Criminal Activity Shneiderman.

 

List of Officials Persecuting Sergei Magnitsky Posthumously – 2011-2016:

 

  1. R. Filippov – investigator of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department, responsible for the posthumous persecution of Sergei Magnitsky under case No 678540
  2. P. Tambovtsev – investigator of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department, responsible for the posthumous persecution of Sergei Magnitsky under case No 678540
  3. A. Ranchenkov – investigator of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department, responsible for the posthumous persecution of Sergei Magnitsky under case No 678540
  4. Y. Shinin – first deputy head of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department who sanctioned the posthumous persecution of Sergei Magnitsky
  5. M. Alexandrov – head of Directorate of Investigations of Organised Crime and Corruption of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department, deputy head of the Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department, and then deputy head of the General Prosecutor’s Office Directorate of the Oversight over Investigations of Especially Important Cases, overseeing cases against Sergei Magnitsky posthumously
  6. A. Saribzhanov – deputy head of Directorate of Investigations of Organised Crime and Corruption of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department who refused complaint from Magnitsky’s mother against the posthumous persecution of her son
  7. S. Shamin – head of 2nd section of Directorate of Investigations of Organised Crime and Corruption of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department who sanctioned posthumous persecution of Sergei Magnitsky
  8. A. Ryabtsev – head of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Main Department of Economic Security and Combating Corruption(Department “K”), involved in the posthumous persecution of Sergei Magnitsky and exoneration of those involved in Magnitsky’s death
  9. D. Mityaev – official of the Russian Interior Ministry’s MainDepartment of Economic Security and Combating Corruption(Department “K”), involved in the posthumous persecution of Sergei Magnitsky and exoneration of those involved in Magnitsky’s death
  10. A. Krakovsky – deputy head of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department responsible for the posthumous persecution of Sergei Magnitsky seven years after his death in custody
  11. S. Shneiderman – deputy head of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department responsible for the posthumous persecution of Sergei Magnitsky seven years after his death in custody
  12. S. Murashev – deputy head of second section of the Directorate of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department responsible for the posthumous persecution of Sergei Magnitsky seven years after his death in custody
  13. V. Yudin – head of the Russian General Prosecutor’s Office Directorate of Oversight over Investigations of Especially Important Cases, responsible for the posthumous persecution of Sergei Magnitsky
  14. V. Ignashin – deputy head of the Russian General Prosecutor’s Office Directorate of Oversight over Investigations of Especially Important Cases, responsible for the posthumous persecution of Sergei Magnitsky
  15. S. Bochkarev – prosecutor of the Russian General Prosecutor’s Office Directorate of Oversight over Investigations of Especially Important Cases, responsible for the posthumous persecution of Sergei Magnitsky
  16. A. Kulikov – prosecutor of the second section of the Russian General Prosecutor’s Office Directorate of Oversight over Investigations of Especially Important Cases, responsible for the posthumous persecution of Sergei Magnitsky
  17. D. Stroitelev – head of section of the FSB’s Directorate K (Financial Counterintelligence) involved in the posthumous persecution of Sergei Magnitsky and refusal of complaint from Magnitsky’s mother
  18. V. Komarov – officer of the FSB’s Directorate K (Financial Counterintelligence) involved in the posthumous persecution of Sergei Magnitsky
  19. A. Pogrebnyak – officer of the FSB’s Directorate K (Financial Counterintelligence) involved in the posthumous persecution of Sergei Magnitsky
  20. E. Golubev – investigator of the Russian Investigations Committee who exonerated tax officials from liability for the US$230 million theft and posthumously persecuted Sergei Magnitsky in spite of complaints from Magnitsky’s mother
  21. V. Alyshev – deputy head of the Main Investigative Directorate of the Russian Investigations Committee who exonerated from liability Interior Ministry officials who persecuted Sergei Magnitsky
  22. A. Iskantsev – acting head of the Main Investigative Directorate of the Russian Investigations Committee who exonerated from liability Interior Ministry officials who persecuted Sergei Magnitsky
  23. S. Olkhovnikov – deputy head of the second investigative section of the first investigative department for Central District of the Main Investigative Directorate of the Russian Investigations Committee overseeing the posthumous persecution of Sergei Magnitsky and the exoneration of officials implicated by Magnitsky in the US$230 million theft
  24. S. Kiryukhin – head of the second investigative section of the first investigative department of the Main Investigative Directorate of the Russian Investigations Committee overseeing the posthumous persecution of Sergei Magnitsky and the exoneration of officials implicated by Magnitsky in the US$230 million theft
  25. L. Kolobkova – deputy head of the first investigative department of the Main Investigative Directorate of the Russian Investigations Committee overseeing the posthumous persecution of Sergei Magnitsky and the exoneration of officials implicated by Magnitsky in the US$230 million theft
  26. A. Prokopets – acting head of the first investigative department of the Main Investigative Directorate of the Russian Investigations Committee overseeing the posthumous persecution of Sergei Magnitsky and the exoneration of officials implicated by Magnitsky in the US$230 million theft
  27. R. Erdniev – deputy head of the Directorate of Procedural Oversight over Investigations of Especially Important Cases in Federal Districts of the Russian Investigations Committee overseeing the posthumous persecution of Sergei Magnitsky and the exoneration of officials implicated by Magnitsky in the US$230 million theft
  28. Y. Tyutyunnik – acting head of the Main Investigative Directorate of the Investigations Committee overseeing the posthumous persecution of Sergei Magnitsky and the exoneration of officials implicated by Magnitsky in the US$230 million theft.

 

For further information please contact:

 

Global Justice for Sergei Magnitsky

+44 207 440 1777

info@lawandorderinrussia.org

www.lawandorderinrussia.org

www.billbrowder.com

twitter.com/Billbrowder

 

Extract from Mrs Magnitskaya’s Complaint against her son’s posthumous persecution

Below is an extract from the complaint filed with the Russian Interior Ministry by Mrs Magnitskaya’s lawyer against her son’s posthumous persecution:

“The investigation of this criminal case affects the constitutional rights of Mrs Magnitskaya and her deceased son.

Since the end of 2007 and in 2008 Sergei Magnitsky took active part in exposing the criminal group responsible for the theft of 5.4 billion roubles [US$230 million] from the state budget under the disguise of a tax refund.

Today, the investigation has numerous proofs that the theft had been committed by the criminal group which comprised heads of Moscow Tax Inspectorates No 25 and 28 E.Khimina and O.Stepanova and their subordinates; owner and employees of Universal Savings Bank; previously convicted Markelov, Kurochkin and Khlebnikov;  officials from the Moscow Interior Ministry’s Tax Crime Department  who assisted them, and others.

Furthermore, it is currently known that the same criminal group perpetrated a number of similar crimes, and the amount of funds stolen from the budget is about US$800 million. The theft of 5.4 billion roubles was not the first and not the last in the list of their crimes. Having unlimited financial resources at their disposal and having secured protection at the high administrative level, they have organised persecution against those who disrupted and exposed their criminal activity.

  1. Magnitsky was placed into custody on 24 November 2008 soon after he gave testimony implicating members of this criminal group. In a little less than a year, on 16 November 2009, he was found dead in the cell of the collection unit of Matrosskaya Tishina detention center. The location and nature of injuries on his body indisputably testify to the violent causes of the death of S.Magnitsky.

After S. Magnitsky was physically eliminated, investigator O. Urzhumtsev created a knowingly false version of the crime, as purportedly committed by S. Magnitsky himself, which was aimed to compromise the deceased and was monstrous in its cynicism and injustice.

The decree to commence a criminal case, investigator O.Urzhumtsev included data about alleged complicity of S. Magnitsky in the 5.4 billion roubles theft, which in fact S.Magnitsky had uncovered.”

The complaint from Mrs Magnitskaya’s lawyer further says that the conclusion on complicity of S. Magnitsky in the wrong-doing is a knowing lie and slander, contrary to the article 8 of the Russian Criminal Procedure Code which stipulates that no one can be recognised as guilty in committing the offence in the absence of a court judgment.



European Parliament Members Call on the European Commission to Unblock Magnitsky Sanctions

December 13, 2016

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate distribution

 

 

European Parliament Members Call on the European Commission to Unblock Magnitsky Sanctions

 

 

13 December 2016 – Members of the European Parliament from five major political parties have called on the European Commission to unblock the EU’s Magnitsky sanctions and put them to vote by the Council of Ministers.

 

“We implore you to enact the will of democratically elected Members of the European Parliament and present a proposal to the Council of Ministers to sanction the individuals listed in the Recommendation to the Council of 2 April, 2014 …in the case of Sergei Magnitsky,” said 51 MEPs in a letter addressed to Federica Mogherini, the European Commission’s VP and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

 

Two years ago, the European Parliament passed a Recommendation listing 32 Russians to be excluded from the EU because of their role in the case of Sergei Magnitsky, a 37-year old Russian lawyer who was arrested, tortured and killed in a Russian detention center after testifying about the role of Russian government officials in a US$230 million fraud.  Federica Mogherini, who as High Representative chairs Foreign Affairs Council meetings, has blocked the implementation of the resolution by refusing to put it to vote of the EU’s Council of Ministers.

 

This week Gunnar Hökmark (European People’s Party), Anna Fotyga (European Conservatives and Reformists), Petras Auštrevičius, (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe), Ana Gomes (Social and Democrats), and Rebecca Harms (Green Party) have led a 51-signatory initiative to unblock the Magnitsky Sanctions Resolution.

 

European People’s Party MEP Gunnar Hökmark said: “The first time the parliament raised this question, Mrs Mogherini answered that it was in our best interest to wait and hope for the development of good forces in Russia. However, the contrary has been proved over the last couple of years with the murder of Boris Nemtsov and the regimes all-growing repression and isolation.”

 

MEP Anna Fotyga (European Conservatives and Reformists) said: “The murders of Sergei Magnitsky, Boris Nemtsov and others, as well as aggressions on Georgia and Ukraine force us to name the Russian political system as an aggressive SovietStyle kleptocracy.  Such regime cannot be a partner for Western Democracies.”

 

Social and Democrats MEP Ana Gomes said: “Considering the deterioration of human rights in Russia, it is about time that the High Representative and the EU Council of Ministers act.

 

Green Party MEP Rebecca Harms said: “Magnitsky sanctions are an instrument showing our will to protect whistleblowers, human rights activists or dissidents. These sanctions would allow us to react against those who are personally responsible for violation of human rights and crimes against humanity,”

 

MEP Petras Auštrevičius (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) said: “Sergei Magnitsky`s fight against fraudulent and corrupt system in Russia is a sad reminder of the dire human rights situation in Russia. This amendment is a significant warning to human rights violators that they can no longer get away with their old methods.”

 

Assassinated Russian politician and Putin critic Boris Nemtsov was a strong advocate for an EU Magnitsky Law. In an interview published in “Why Europe needs Magnitsky Law,” Boris Nemtsov said:

 

“Putin’s Russia makes heroes out of murderers and corrupt officials. Naturally, the countries of Europe should hardly want murderers and corrupt officials traveling about unhindered in the European Union… So, if you, and by “you” I mean Europeans, want to protect yourself against Putin’s thieves, murderers and corrupt officials, you have to adopt the Magnitsky Law.”

 

Boris Nemtsov also warned that the Putin’s regime would spend significant resources to block the EU Magnitsky law: “Putin knows full well the weaknesses of European politicians; he knows full well that many of them can be bought, and he makes extensive use of that… tremendous force is being exerted to defeat the adoption of the Magnitsky Law in Europe.

 

Last week, the US Congress passed the Global Magnitsky Act, imposing sanctions on human rights violators and corrupt officials from around the world. The Estonian parliament also unanimously passed Magnitsky legislation, which was signed into law by the Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid.

 

William Browder, leader of the Global Magnitsky Justice Campaign, said: “It is time for the European Union to do its part by enacting the will of its members to stop criminals with blood on their hands from reaping the benefits of Europe.”

 

Magnitsky legislation originated with the passage by the US Congress in December 2012 of the “Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act” which imposes visa sanctions and asset freezes on those involved in Magnitsky case and other human rights abuses in Russia.

 

Signatories to the December 2016 letter to Federica Mogherini:

 

 

Gunnar Hökmark, EPP

Lars Adaktusson, EPP

Tunne Kelam, EPP

Inese Vaidere, EPP

Ludek Niedermayer, EPP

Milan Zver, EPP

Romana Tomc, EPP

Ivan Stefanec, EPP

Sandra Kaliete, EPP

Siegfried Muresan, EPP

Laima Andrikiene, EPP

Michael Gahler, EPP

Herbert Reul, EPP

Dariusz Rosati, EPP

Bent Bendtsen, EPP

Robert Velikonja, EPP

Jerzy Buzek, EPP

Christofer Fjellner, EPP

Krišjānis Kariņš, EPP

Brian Hayes, EPP

Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, EPP

Anna Fotyga, ECR

Andrew Lewer, ECR

Anders Vistisen, ECR

Mark Demesmaeker, ECR

Monica Macovei, ECR

Hans-Olaf Henkel, ECR

Roberts Zile, ECR

Joachim Starbatty, ECR

Bernd Kolmel, ECR

Geoffrey Van Orden, ECR

Jan Zahradil, ECR

Charles Tannock, ECR

Fox Ashley, ECR

Tomasz Piotr Poręba, ECR

Ryszard Czarnecki, ECR

Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, ECR

Jadwiga Wiśniewska, ECR

Edward Czesak, ECR

Petras Auštrevičius, ALDE

Pavel Telička, ALDE

Jasenko Selimovic, ALDE

Nathalie Griesbeck, ALDE

Eva Joly, Greens

Helga Trüpel, Greens

Maria Heubuch, Greens

Rebecca Harms, Greens

Indrek Tarand, Greens

Keith Taylor, Greens

Bronis Rope, Greens

Ana Gomes, S&D

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Justice for Sergei Magnitsky

+44 207 440 1777

e-mail: info@lawandorderinrussia.org

www.lawandorderinrussia.org

www.billbrowder.com

twitter.com/Billbrowder

 

 



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

December 9, 2016

PRESS RELEASE

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:
https://www.president.ee/et/ametitegevus/koned/12780-2016-12-09-11-19-55/index.html

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

www.lawandorderinrussia.org

billbrowder.com

twitter.com/Billbrowder

 

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

https://www.president.ee/et/ametitegevus/koned/12780-2016-12-09-11-19-55/index.html

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

 



US Senate Passes Global Magnitsky Human Rights Bill, Makes Corruption Sanctionable Offence

December 8, 2016

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate distribution

 

US Senate Passes Global Magnitsky Human Rights Bill, Makes Corruption Sanctionable Offence

 

8 December 2016 – Today the US Senate passed the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, expanding the Russia-specific Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 worldwide.

 

William Browder, leader of the global Magnitsky Justice campaign, said: “The adoption of the Global Magnitsky Act is a revolution in the fight against corruption and impunity. This legislation will scare human rights abusers and kleptocrats around the world. It is also the beacon of hope for numerous victims of injustice and brazen corruption around the world. Finally, it is a recognition of the power of the sacrifice of one man who stood against the entire evil state machine.”

 

The Senate vote on Global Magnitsky comes after the passage of the bill in the House of Representatives last week. It now goes to the President for his signature.

 

The Global Magnitsky Act was sponsored in the Senate by Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Committee, and John McCain (R-Ariz.), Chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

 

It was sponsored in the U.S. House by Representative Chris Smith, Co-chairman of the US Helsinki Committee (R-New Jersey), and Representative Jim McGovern, The Co-Chairman of the Lantos Human Rights Committee (D-Massachusetts).

 

The bi-partisan legislation is named after a Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who testified against corrupt Russian officials implicated in the US$230 million theft, and was arrested by some of the implicated officials, tortured and killed in police custody at the age of 37.

 

The Global Magnitsky Act widens sanctionable offences to include significant acts of corruption.

 

The Global Magnitsky Act creates consequences for corrupt officials and human rights abusers in any country around the world by denying them entry into the United States and access to US financial institutions.

 

Senator McCain said: “Last month marked the seventh anniversary of the murder of Sergei Magnitsky at the hands of Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Sergei’s torture and murder is an example of a problem that is unfortunately all too common and widespread in Russia and many parts of the world today: the flagrant violations of the rule of law and basic human rights.”

 

The Global Magnitsky Human Rights and Accountability Act, which is on its way to becoming law, will … send a clear message that if you violate the human rights and civil liberties of others, the United States will hold you accountable. In passing this legislation, we honor the life and memory of Sergei and affirm our commitment to all those fighting for freedom around the world,” said Senator McCain.

 

Senator Cardin said: “With today’s passage of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, the United States has added a critical tool to our diplomatic toolbox, making clear that gross violators of human rights and those who engage in serious acts of corruption cannot escape the consequences of their actions even when their home country fails to act…. Perhaps most importantly, passage of this legislation is a reminder to all those around the world who have the courage to stand up against corruption and human rights abuses, that the United States stands with them in solidarity.”

 

Congressional passage of Global Magnitsky has been part of the Senate’s vote on the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017 fiscal year.

 

It comes on the eve of two related days: December 9th is International Anti-Corruption Day and December 10th is Human Rights Day.

 

The Global Magnitsky Act authorizes the President to impose sanctions on any foreign individual the President determines is responsible for significant acts of corruption, extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights committed against individuals seeking to promote human rights or to expose illegal activity carried out by government officials.

 

Global Magnitsky sanctions on these individuals include (a) prohibiting or revoking U.S. entry visas or other entry documentation; (b) freezing and prohibiting U.S. property transactions of an individual if such property and property interests are in the United States, come within the United States, or are in or come within the control of a U.S. person or entity.

 

In determining whether credible evidence exists to apply sanctions, the President must consider requests made jointly by the Chairperson and Ranking Member of certain Congressional committees.

 

Global Magnitsky also requires the President to report annually to Congress regarding actions taken pursuant to the bill.

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Justice for Sergei Magnitsky

+44 207 440 1777

e-mail: info@lawandorderinrussia.org

www.lawandorderinrussia.org

billbrowder.com

twitter.com/Billbrowder

 



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