// Press Releases (in English)

US Congress Introduces Ground-breaking Global Magnitsky Human Rights Bill To Fight Impunity All Over the World

February 2, 2015

Both cham­bers of the US Con­gress have intro­duced the Global Mag­nit­sky Human Rights Account­abil­ity bill, a deter­rent for klep­to­crats and human rights abusers around the world. The new bill expands and glob­al­izes the Mag­nit­sky Act of 2012, which cre­ated tar­geted visa and finan­cial sanc­tions on cor­rupt offi­cials and human rights vio­la­tors in Russia.

 

“This is a poignant legacy for Sergei Mag­nit­sky, a man who gave his life for his ideals, to have his name on a piece of leg­is­la­tion which will fight impunity of human rights abusers and cor­rupt offi­cials around the world,” said William Brow­der, leader of the global Mag­nit­sky jus­tice movement.

 

The Global Mag­nit­sky Bill has been intro­duced in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives by Chris Smith, Chair­man of the U.S. Helsinki Com­mis­sion   (http://www.csce.gov/), and Jim McGov­ern, Co-Chairman of the Tom Lan­tos Human Rights Com­mis­sion (http://tlhrc.house.gov/),  and in the Sen­ate by U.S. Sen­a­tors John McCain and Ben Cardin, with co-sponsors U.S. Sen­a­tors Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Jeanne Sha­heen (D-NH), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Richard Blu­men­thal (D-Conn.) (http://www.cardin.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/cardin-mccain-reintroduce-global-magnitsky-human-rights-accountability-act).

 

The House ver­sion of the Global Mag­nit­sky Bill (H.R. 624) con­tains stronger lan­guage, in par­tic­u­lar, direct­ing rather than per­mit­ting the U.S. Pres­i­dent to impose sanc­tions on klep­to­crats and gross human rights vio­la­tors. It also assigns the U.S. Comp­trol­ler Gen­eral to exam­ine and report on the imple­men­ta­tion of the leg­is­la­tion. The House ver­sion of the Global Mag­nit­sky Bill also requires the sanc­tions list to be pub­lished annu­ally on 10 Decem­ber, which marks the Human Rights Day in com­mem­o­ra­tion of the adop­tion by the United Nations of the Uni­ver­sal Dec­la­ra­tion of Human Rights in 1948.

 

The pre­vi­ous Mag­nit­sky Act of 2012 was a prece­dent set­ting piece of leg­is­la­tion requir­ing the U.S. gov­ern­ment to con­front impunity, and cre­ate con­se­quences for those involved in human rights atroc­i­ties in Rus­sia, includ­ing the tor­ture and killing of Russ­ian anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Mag­nit­sky, and the $230 mil­lion cor­rup­tion he had uncov­ered. The tar­geted sanc­tions included visa bans and asset freez­ing, as well as a mech­a­nism through which the sanc­tioned indi­vid­u­als are pub­licly named, cre­at­ing a real con­se­quence for human rights abusers in Russia.

 

The Global Mag­nit­sky Bill extends these tools to for­eign gov­ern­ment offi­cials and their senior asso­ciates respon­si­ble for or com­plicit in order­ing, con­trol­ling or direct­ing “acts of sig­nif­i­cant cor­rup­tion, …bribery, or trans­fer of the pro­ceeds of cor­rup­tion to for­eign juris­dic­tions” and those who “mate­ri­ally assisted, spon­sored, or pro­vided finan­cial, mate­r­ial, or tech­no­log­i­cal sup­port” for such activities.

 

The gen­e­sis of the 2012 Mag­nit­sky Act and the extra­or­di­nary story of Sergei Mag­nit­sky, whose name now lives in the U.S. law, are fea­tured in the explo­sive new book by William Brow­der, “Red Notice,” which will be pub­lished on 3 Feb­ru­ary 2015.

 

U.S. Sen­a­tor McCain said ahead of the book launch this week:

 

“In ‘Red Notice’, Bill Brow­der tells the har­row­ing and inspir­ing story of how his fight for jus­tice in Rus­sia made him an unlikely inter­na­tional human rights leader and Vladimir Putin’s number-one enemy.”

 

To learn more about ‘Red Notice,’ visit the book web­site: http://billbrowder.com

 



Russia Bans Bill Browder’s New Book “Red Notice”, a Searing Exposé Featuring Putin’s Involvement in the Cover up of Sergei Magnitsky’s Murder

January 29, 2015

Rus­sia Bans Bill Browder’s New Book “Red Notice”, a Sear­ing Exposé Fea­tur­ing Putin’s Involve­ment in the Cover up of Sergei Magnitsky’s Murder

 

29 Jan­u­ary 2015 — On Feb­ru­ary 3rd 2015, Bill Brow­der, CEO and founder of Her­mitage Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment, launches an explo­sive book about Rus­sia enti­tled “Red Notice: A true story of High Finance, Mur­der, and One Man’s Fight for Jus­tice” (UK edi­tion: “Red Notice, How I Became Putin’s Num­ber One Enemy” pub­lished on 5th February.)

 

Red Notice” describes Browder’s fight against cor­rup­tion and impunity in Rus­sia and is a dev­as­tat­ing exposé of how Putin and his regime will do any­thing to ille­gally acquire wealth, includ­ing tor­ture and cover-up of murder.

 

“Any­body who pre­vi­ously thought that Putin is a nor­mal leader or that Rus­sia is a nor­mal coun­try will think oth­er­wise after read­ing this book,” says Bill Browder.

 

Red Notice” will be pub­lished in 14 coun­tries, but has so far been blocked by all major Russ­ian publishers.

 

Numer­ous Russ­ian pub­lish­ing houses, rang­ing from Eksmo to Alpina, have avoided involve­ment in this book, for appar­ent fear of reprisal from the Putin regime.

 

Mem­bers of Pussy Riot, a Russ­ian punk group who have been jailed for an anti-Putin protest, described the Krem­lin posi­tion on Brow­der in their endorse­ment of “Red Notice” by saying:

 

“Bill Brow­der has become one of the most sin­cerely hated men in the Krem­lin over the years — and that is some­thing to be incred­i­bly proud of… This book shows the dif­fer­ence that one per­son can make when they refuse to back down, as told by a fel­low sol­dier in the bat­tle to hold Putin to account.”

 

A Russ­ian ver­sion of “Red Notice” will be avail­able in the Russ­ian lan­guage and pub­lished out­side of Russia.

 

“This marks the return of the days of Soviet “samiz­dat” when books crit­i­cal of the Soviet gov­ern­ment were banned.  Many were pub­lished abroad, and then had to be secretly copied, cir­cu­lated by hand and passed from reader to reader,” says Browder.

 

Some of the Soviet Union’s most acclaimed ‘samiz­dat’ authors were Var­lam Sha­la­mov and Alek­sandr Solzhen­it­syn, both for­mer inmates of Stalin’s gulag, who drew global atten­tion to Joseph Stalin’s forced labor camps, where mil­lions of Soviet cit­i­zens were sum­mar­ily interned and many ulti­mately died.

 

To learn more, visit the ‘Red Notice’ book web­site: http://billbrowder.com

 

For more infor­ma­tion, please contact:

 

Mag­nit­sky Jus­tice Campaign

+44 2074401777

e-mail: info@lawandorderinrussia.org

web­site: www.lawandorderinrussia.org

Face­book: http://on.fb.me/hvIuVI

Twit­ter: @KatieFisher__

 



Interpol Definitively Rejects Russia’s Request to Issue an International Arrest Warrant for Bill Browder

January 26, 2015

Inter­pol Defin­i­tively Rejects Russia’s Request to Issue an Inter­na­tional Arrest War­rant for Bill Browder

 

26 Jan­u­ary 2015 — Inter­pol, the inter­na­tional police orga­ni­za­tion, has defin­i­tively rejected Russia’s attempt to add Bill Brow­der, CEO of Her­mitage Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment, to its Red Notice inter­na­tional arrest war­rant sys­tem. This is Russia’s third unsuc­cess­ful attempt to issue an Inter­pol Red Notice for Brow­der. A Red Notice would have meant that Brow­der would be arrested at any inter­na­tional bor­der and poten­tially extra­dited back to Rus­sia. Over the last eight weeks, Interpol’s Com­mis­sion for the Con­trol of Files has reviewed Russia’s appli­ca­tion and con­cluded that the Russ­ian war­rant was ille­git­i­mate because it was “pre­dom­i­nantly political.”

 

This attempt by the Russ­ian gov­ern­ment fol­lows a long series of acts of retal­i­a­tion against Brow­der for his role in the suc­cess­ful pas­sage of the US Mag­nit­sky Act, which imposes visa sanc­tions and asset freezes on Russ­ian offi­cials who killed Sergei Mag­nit­sky, were involved in the $230 mil­lion theft he had uncov­ered, or per­pe­trated other human rights abuses.
Pre­vi­ously, Inter­pol refused two sim­i­lar requests from Rus­sia for Brow­der. In the sum­mer of 2014, Inter­pol said Russia’s requests to arrest Brow­der were invalid because they vio­lated Interpol’s Con­sti­tu­tion which pro­hibits the orga­ni­za­tion to be used for polit­i­cal persecution.

 

Instead of com­ply­ing with the pre­vi­ous two Interpol’s rul­ings, the Russ­ian author­i­ties began an inten­sive high-level lob­by­ing cam­paign to influ­ence Inter­pol to reverse their deci­sion. In Jan­u­ary 2014, the Russ­ian Gen­eral Prosecutor’s Office dis­patched offi­cials to Lyon, France, where Inter­pol is head­quar­tered, who per­suaded Inter­pol to re-open the Brow­der case. To help con­vince Inter­pol, Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Putin invited Gen­eral Sec­re­tary of Inter­pol Ron Noble to his pri­vate res­i­dence near Moscow at the end of Octo­ber 2014. Russ­ian author­i­ties also lob­bied Inter­pol mem­ber states to elect their rep­re­sen­ta­tive to Interpol’s gov­ern­ing body, the Exec­u­tive Committee.

 

To make their lat­est appli­ca­tion to Inter­pol for Brow­der, the Russ­ian author­i­ties used the posthu­mous trial against Browder’s mur­dered Russ­ian lawyer Sergei Mag­nit­sky. This trial was con­demned around the world as a gross abuse of justice.

 

“This lat­est episode with Inter­pol is an impor­tant exam­ple of how Putin applies Russia’s sov­er­eign power to abuse its mem­ber­ship in inter­na­tional orga­ni­za­tions. While the Inter­pol deci­sion was the cor­rect and right one, there are many other vic­tims of the Russ­ian regime in less high-profile cases who are being unjustly arrested in for­eign coun­tries as they flee polit­i­cal per­se­cu­tion in Rus­sia. It’s time that Russia’s fail­ing judi­cial sys­tem is taken into account by inter­na­tional orga­ni­za­tions for their con­stant abuse for polit­i­cal or cor­rupt motives,” said Bill Browder.

 

Next week, on Feb­ru­ary 3rd 2015, Bill Brow­der will be respond­ing with his own “Red Notice” on Putin’s Russia.

 

Browder’s book enti­tled, “Red Notice: A true story of High Finance, Mur­der, and One Man’s Fight for Jus­tice” (UK edi­tion: “Red Notice, How I Became Putin’s Num­ber One Enemy”) will be launched in the US and in the UK. Browder’s “Red Notice” will show that Putin is more akin to a crime boss than a legit­i­mate world leader.

 

To learn more visit the Red Notice book web­site: http://billbrowder.com

 

For more infor­ma­tion, please contact:

 

Mag­nit­sky Jus­tice Campaign

 

+44 2074401777

e-mail: info@lawandorderinrussia.org

web­site: www.lawandorderinrussia.org

Face­book: http://on.fb.me/hvIuVI

Twit­ter: @KatieFisher__

 

 



Russian Investigative Committee Refuses Application from Magnitsky’s Mother to Bring to Account Those Responsible for Use of Rubber Batons on her Son in Detention

January 16, 2015

The Russ­ian Inves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee has refused the appli­ca­tion from Sergei Magnitsky’s mother to bring to account those respon­si­ble for the use of rub­ber batons on her son before his death in detention.

Mr Veseliev, Deputy head of sec­tion of the Main Inves­tiga­tive Depart­ment of the Russ­ian Inves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee, stated in refus­ing the appli­ca­tion that the deci­sion to ter­mi­nate the inves­ti­ga­tion was based on “the col­lec­tion of gath­ered evi­dence” and “was checked by the head of the inves­tiga­tive body and pros­e­cu­tor, no grounds to change the deci­sion were found.” The decree does not pro­vide any con­crete ground in rela­tion to the deci­sion not to inves­ti­gate the use of rub­ber batons.
The appli­ca­tion from Magnitsky’s mother stated that the use of rub­ber batons was con­firmed by the post-mortem med­ical exam­i­na­tion, yet the inves­ti­ga­tion closed the crim­i­nal case into Magnitsky’s death with­out bring­ing to account those respon­si­ble. Her appli­ca­tion said:

request to con­duct full probe by inves­tiga­tive means into the use of spe­cial means – metal­lic hand­cuffs and rub­ber batons — on 16 Novem­ber 2009 at the time when he [Mag­nit­sky] was deliv­ered in grave con­di­tion to Matrosskaya Tishina deten­tion cen­ter for the pur­pose of pro­vid­ing him with emer­gency med­ical care.”

Sergei Mag­nit­sky died on 16 Novem­ber 2009. Despite the con­clu­sions from four inde­pen­dent expert exam­i­na­tions that he was tor­tured in deten­tion, the Russ­ian Inves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee has refused to investigate.

Russ­ian Inves­ti­ga­to­roftheIn­ves­tiga­tiveCom­mit­tee­An­dreiStrizhov, who closed the Mag­nit­sky death case investigation,andDeputyGeneralProsecutorofRussiaVictorGrin, the over­see­ing­pros­e­cu­tor, were both­sanc­tionedby the US Gov­ern­ment attheend­ofDe­cem­ber 2014 fortheir­rolein con­ceal­ing the legal lia­bil­ity of per­sons respon­si­ble for Magnitsky’s ill-treatment and death, in accor­dance with the Sergei Mag­nit­sky Rule of Law Account­abil­ity Act of 2012



US Sanctions Four New Russian Officials on Magnitsky List Including Russian Deputy General Prosecutor Victor Grin

December 30, 2014

Today the US Gov­ern­ment released four new names of Russ­ian gov­ern­ment offi­cials added to the U.S. Mag­nit­sky sanc­tions list, includ­ing Russia’s Deputy Gen­eral Pros­e­cu­tor Vic­tor Grin.

Mr Grin is the highest-ranking mem­ber of the Putin regime to be sanc­tioned to date under the Sergei Mag­nit­sky Rule of Law Account­abil­ity Act.

“Vic­tor Grin is surely the most odi­ous char­ac­ter of all Russ­ian offi­cials involved in the Mag­nit­sky case, and it is cru­cial that he is being pub­licly sanc­tioned,” said a Mag­nit­sky Jus­tice Сam­paign representative.

The announce­ment came shortly after the sec­ond of anniver­sary of the pas­sage of the Mag­nit­sky Act and fol­low­ing the fifth anniver­sary of Sergei Magnitsky’s mur­der in Russ­ian police custody.

Two of the four sanc­tioned Russ­ian offi­cials played a spe­cific role in the Mag­nit­sky case, and the other two are offi­cials with respon­si­bil­ity in the Chech­nya region.

The most high pro­file new addi­tion to the sanc­tions list is Vic­tor Grin, Russia’s Deputy Gen­eral Pros­e­cu­tor, who was respon­si­ble for the cover-up of the tor­ture and killing of Sergei Mag­nit­sky in police cus­tody, the cover-up of the theft of $230 mil­lion from the state that Mag­nit­sky had exposed. He was also respon­si­ble for the posthu­mous pros­e­cu­tion of Sergei Mag­nit­sky three years after his death.

Major Andrei Strizhov, an inves­ti­ga­tor of the Russ­ian Inves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee, was also added to the Mag­nit­sky list. Last year, Strizhov was respon­si­ble for clos­ing the inves­ti­ga­tion into Sergei Magnitsky’s death with a find­ing of “no signs of a crime.” This find­ing came in spite of two inde­pen­dent reports from Rus­sia and two from abroad that found that Mag­nit­sky was sub­jected to tor­ture, beaten with rub­ber batons and other abuses.

The U.S. Mag­nit­sky sanc­tions list now con­tains 34 names, includ­ing 28 who played a role in the Mag­nit­sky case.

It is impor­tant we don’t  for­get that the Mag­nit­sky fam­ily has sub­mit­ted evi­dence of more than 280 indi­vid­u­als who should be sub­jected to sanc­tions under the Mag­nit­sky Act. There is a lot more work to be done for the US Gov­ern­ment to ful­fill its oblig­a­tions under the Mag­nit­sky Act,” said a Mag­nit­sky Jus­tice Сam­paign representative.

 The pub­li­ca­tion of the list has coin­cided with the pub­li­ca­tion of the annual report by the U.S. State Depart­ment on the imple­men­ta­tion of the Mag­nit­sky law, in which the State Depart­ment has explained the cri­te­ria involved:

“The cri­te­ria include per­sons involved in the crim­i­nal con­spir­acy uncov­ered by Sergei Mag­nit­sky, a Russ­ian lawyer who died of med­ical neglect on Novem­ber 16, 2009, after a year in pre-trial deten­tion in a Moscow prison, after he uncov­ered a large tax fraud scheme per­pe­trated by Russ­ian officials.”

The Mag­nit­sky Law was passed in Decem­ber 2012. The first Mag­nit­sky sanc­tions list was pub­lished by the U.S. Gov­ern­ment in April 2013. The addi­tions of names to the Mag­nit­sky Sanc­tions List gen­er­ally hap­pens in con­junc­tion with the pub­li­ca­tion of the U.S. State Depart­ment report on the imple­men­ta­tion of the Mag­nit­sky Law or in reac­tion to a “con­gres­sional trig­ger” in which chair­man and rank­ing mem­bers of cer­tain con­gres­sional com­mit­tees can request for names to be added to the list.

Back­ground Infor­ma­tion on Deputy Gen­eral Pros­e­cu­tor Vic­tor Grin:

 Vic­tor Grin serves as Russia’s Deputy Gen­eral Pros­e­cu­tor. He over­saw a probe into the com­plaint filed by the Her­mitage Fund’s lawyers report­ing abuse of office by Russ­ian Inte­rior Min­istry offi­cials three weeks before the $230 mil­lion was stolen which led to Magnitsky’s death. In spite of receiv­ing the report, Grin failed to con­duct any inves­ti­ga­tion and three weeks later, a group of Russ­ian offi­cials and crim­i­nals stole $230 mil­lion from the Russ­ian treasury.

On 10 April 2009, Grin signed an indict­ment, which exon­er­ated all Russ­ian Inte­rior Min­istry and tax offi­cials that Sergei Mag­nit­sky had exposed in the $230 mil­lion theft.

On 6 Novem­ber 2009, ten days before Sergei Magnitsky’s death in cus­tody, pros­e­cu­tor Grin was assigned to over­see the probe into the com­plaint about Magnitsky’s ill-treatment and denial of med­ical care in cus­tody filed by Magnitsky’s col­league Jami­son Fire­stone. Grin failed to con­duct any such probe, and ten days later Sergei Mag­nit­sky was mur­dered in custody.

After Sergei Magnitsky’s death, Grin was put in charge of super­vis­ing the inves­ti­ga­tion into Sergei Magnitsky’s death. In this capac­ity, he issued a report find­ing no vio­la­tions in the actions of Russ­ian Inte­rior Min­istry offi­cials who arrested and pros­e­cuted Mag­nit­sky, which was used to jus­tify the clo­sure of the death case investigation.

Two and half years after Magnitsky’s death, in retal­i­a­tion to calls from the Magnitsky’s fam­ily for jus­tice, Grin per­son­ally ini­ti­ated two posthu­mous cases against Sergei Mag­nit­sky in Rus­sia, includ­ing one which ended with the first-ever posthu­mous trial in Russ­ian his­tory last July, and another one which is still ongoing.

For fur­ther mate­ri­als on Russ­ian Deputy Gen­eral Pros­e­cu­tor Vic­tor Grin go to “Russ­ian Untouch­ables. Jus­tice for Sergei Mag­nit­sky” web­site and visit page “Mag­nit­sky Case Cover up Revealed in Per­sons and Doc­u­ments”.

Back­ground Infor­ma­tion on Inves­ti­ga­tor Andrei Strizhov:

The sec­ond Russ­ian offi­cial added to the Mag­nit­sky Sanc­tions List today is Major Andrei Strizhov. Strizhov is an inves­ti­ga­tor work­ing in Russ­ian Inves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee who was respon­si­ble for clos­ing the inves­ti­ga­tion into Magnitsky’s death. In his report, he found “no crime.” He also has refused requests from the Mag­nit­sky fam­ily to allow them to con­duct inde­pen­dent med­ical exam­i­na­tion of Magnitsky’s tis­sue archive or for their lawyer to ques­tion FSB and Inte­rior Min­istry offi­cials respon­si­ble for his detention.



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