// Press Releases (in English)

European Parliament Calls on EU Foreign Policy Chief to Enact EU-wide Magnitsky Sanctions on Russian Human Rights Abusers

June 11, 2015

11 June 2015 – The Euro­pean Par­lia­ment has adopted the Mag­nit­sky Sanc­tions Motion which demands that EU For­eign Affairs chief Fed­er­ica Mogherini act “with­out delay” and intro­duce sanc­tions on Russ­ian offi­cials involved in the Mag­nit­sky case.

The motion pro­posed by Euro­pean Parliament’s Rap­por­teur on the state of EU-Russia rela­tions Gabrielius Lands­ber­gis, MEP, was adopted by 494 votes to 135, with 69 abstentions.

The Mag­nit­sky Sanc­tions motion high­lights the assas­si­na­tions of Boris Nemtsov, Sergey Mag­nit­sky, Anna Politkovskaya, Natalya Estemirova, Alexan­der Litvi­nenko and oth­ers, and demands their proper, inde­pen­dent investigations.

The Mag­nit­sky Sanc­tions motion adopted by the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment states:

Euro­pean Parliament…reiterates its call on the Coun­cil to … adopt, upon a pro­posal which should be sub­mit­ted with­out delay by the VP/HR, restric­tive mea­sures for the offi­cials involved in the well-documented Mag­nit­sky case.”

Pre­vi­ously, Ms Mogherini, EU VP/HR (Vice Pres­i­dent and High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive) for for­eign affairs and secu­rity pol­icy, strongly opposed the enact­ment of EU-wide Mag­nit­sky sanc­tions, in spite of four res­o­lu­tions by the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment in their favour. In a let­ter to the Euro­pean par­lia­ment mem­bers on 12 Jan­u­ary 2015, Ms Mogherini stead­fastly refused to impose sanc­tions on Russ­ian offi­cials in the Mag­nit­sky case.

I con­sider that addi­tional sanc­tions tar­get­ing human rights vio­la­tors would not be the appro­pri­ate response as they would risk nei­ther trig­ger­ing a change in pol­icy nor improv­ing the human rights sit­u­a­tion,” said Ms Mogherini at the time in her letter.

One and a half month after Ms Mogherini’s refusal, Boris Nemtsov, the lead­ing pro­po­nent of the EU Mag­nit­sky sanc­tions, and a key Russ­ian leader of the oppo­si­tion to pres­i­dent Putin, was assas­si­nated next to the Kremlin.

In his pub­lic appear­ances before his assas­si­na­tion, Boris Nemtsov stated his belief that Mag­nit­sky sanc­tions, enacted by the United States under the “US Sergei Mag­nit­sky Rule of Law Account­abil­ity Act of 2012,” rep­re­sented the “most pow­er­ful instru­ment against killers and clep­to­crats” (see in Russ­ian at 27 min of youtube video debate with Boris Nemtsov: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_n1AJ0oCIJE)

Boris Nemtsov cam­paigned for the adop­tion of Mag­nit­sky sanc­tions by the EU and for the expan­sion of the US Mag­nit­sky sanc­tions list.

We owe it to the mem­ory of the coura­geous Russ­ian patri­ots Sergei Mag­nit­sky and Boris Nemtsov to cre­ate con­se­quences for those in Rus­sia who act with impunity and con­tinue to cover up bru­tal mur­ders with a straight face in the inter­na­tional set­tings. Inac­tion by Ms Mogherini today, after the fifth vote by the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, is no longer accept­able,” said Bill Brow­der, leader of the Mag­nit­sky Jus­tice campaign.

For more infor­ma­tion, please contact:

Mag­nit­sky Jus­tice Cam­paign
+44 2074401777
e-mail: info@lawandorderinrussia.org
web­site: www.lawandorderinrussia.org
Twit­ter: @KatieFisher__

Russian Government Continues to Eliminate Evidence in the Magnitsky Case by Destroying Video Recordings of Magnitsky’s Last Hours in Detention

June 5, 2015

Russ­ian Gov­ern­ment Con­tin­ues to Elim­i­nate Evi­dence in the Mag­nit­sky Case by Destroy­ing Video Record­ings of Magnitsky’s Last Hours in Detention

5 June 2015 – The Russ­ian author­i­ties have told Sergei Magnitsky’s mother that they have destroyed the video record­ings of Sergei Magnitsky’s last hours before his killing in Matrosskaya Tishina deten­tion center.

 In cor­re­spon­dence with Sergei Magnitsky’s mother, Gen­eral Major V. Aly­shev, Deputy Head of the Russ­ian Inves­tiga­tive Committee’s Main Inves­tiga­tive Depart­ment, has con­firmed the Russ­ian author­i­ties have destroyed the video records from Matrosskaya Tishina.

Video record­ings from video sur­veil­lance cam­eras …have not been seized due to objec­tive rea­sons – due to the expiry of the period of stor­age on the disc,” said Gen­eral Major of the Russ­ian Inves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee V. Alyshev.

Sergei Mag­nit­sky was trans­ferred to Matrosskaya Tishina deten­tion cen­ter at 6:30 pm of 16 Novem­ber 2009. Less than three hours later he was found dead with signs of bod­ily injuries in the iso­la­tion cell. The offi­cial Russ­ian inves­ti­ga­tion into his death found that he died from a heart prob­lem and that he had caused his own injuries.

An inde­pen­dent domes­tic inves­ti­ga­tion by the Moscow Pub­lic Over­sight Com­mis­sion con­cluded Sergei Mag­nit­sky was kept in deten­tion in tor­tur­ous con­di­tions, that civil­ian doc­tors were not allowed by deten­tion cen­ter offi­cials to enter his cell for an hour and eigh­teen min­utes before his death, while a team of eight deten­tion cen­ter offi­cers restrained him and beat him. Imme­di­ately after Magnitsky’s death, deten­tion cen­ter offi­cials showed some video footage of Sergei Mag­nit­sky to mem­bers of the Moscow Pub­lic Over­sight Com­mis­sion. How­ever, video record­ings from Matrosskaya Tishina have been absent from the Magnitsky’s death case inves­ti­ga­tion file.

In response to the request from Mag­nit­sky fam­ily about the where­abouts of the video footage from Matrosskaya Tishina, the Russ­ian Inves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee reported that the record­ing has been destroyed:

[Video record­ing] is auto­mat­i­cally deleted from the hard drive after 30 days, and new infor­ma­tion is recorded in its place,” Gen­eral Major Aly­shev has informed Magnitsky’s mother.

“It is con­sis­tent with the over­all cover-up of Sergei Magnitsky’s mur­der that the key video evi­dence from the crime scene was not pre­served. An inves­ti­ga­tion should be opened into those who allowed the destruc­tion of the videos,” said a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Jus­tice for Sergei Mag­nit­sky campaign.

 For more infor­ma­tion, please contact:

 Mag­nit­sky Jus­tice Campaign

+44 2074401777

e-mail: info@lawandorderinrussia.org

web­site: www.lawandorderinrussia.org



Russian Government Destroys Evidence in the Magnitsky Death Case In Spite of his Family’s Request to Preserve Them

June 3, 2015

Russ­ian Gov­ern­ment Destroys Evi­dence in the Mag­nit­sky Death Case In Spite of his Family’s Request to Pre­serve Them

3 June 2015 – The Russ­ian Gov­ern­ment has been destroy­ing records and evi­dence in the Sergei Mag­nit­sky death case defy­ing his family’s appeals to pre­serve them.

Sergei Tely­at­nikov, Head of Butyrka deten­tion cen­ter, has noti­fied the Mag­nit­sky fam­ily that the deten­tion cen­ter has destroyed all records con­tain­ing data on trans­port­ing Sergei Mag­nit­sky to court and there­fore could not dis­close to the fam­ily infor­ma­tion evi­denc­ing his con­di­tions. This is in spite of numer­ous requests from the Mag­nit­sky fam­ily to the Russ­ian gov­ern­ment bod­ies to safe­guard and pre­serve all doc­u­ments and evi­dence con­cern­ing him.

Those involved in destroy­ing the records in rela­tion to the Mag­nit­sky case should real­ize their respon­si­bil­ity in cov­er­ing up his tor­ture and mur­der. Appeals have been filed to all Russ­ian state bod­ies to pre­serve this evi­dence so jus­tice can be obtained for the Mag­nit­sky fam­ily in this hor­rific case,” said a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Jus­tice for Sergei Mag­nit­sky campaign.

Sergei Mag­nit­sky described the cir­cum­stances of his trans­porta­tion to court from Butyrka in his com­plaints and let­ters to his lawyer.

In a let­ter to his lawyer dated 8 August 2009, Sergei Mag­nit­sky  described them as “meat grinder for labour camps”:

“Jus­tice in these con­di­tions turns into the process of grind­ing human meat into mince for pris­ons and labour camps, the process in which a man can­not effec­tively defend him­self, can­not even com­pre­hend what is hap­pen­ing to him, and can only think when all of this is going to end, when can he get rid of this phys­i­cal and emo­tional tor­ture and get to the camp where the degree of human suf­fer­ing …turns out to be less …than here where you are being put through the grinder.”

Sergei Mag­nit­sky detailed one episode of being trans­ported back to his deten­tion cen­ter cell from a court hear­ing at which he chal­lenged his rights vio­la­tions by the Russ­ian Inte­rior Ministry.

“All of us, about 20 peo­ple, were placed in a col­lec­tion cell… This cell is about 22 sqm, with­out win­dows, with one ven­ti­la­tion hatch to the cor­ri­dor, which also does not have win­dows… The toi­let was not sep­a­rated and no one could make them­selves use it...There was no tap with water… We banged on the door, but for a long time nobody came. Finally, a staffer of the deten­tion cen­ter came and asked why we are bang­ing. I said that I needed to take med­i­cine and asked that we be taken to our cells soon.The staffer said that it will hap­pen soon, closed the door and left. In another half hour, we heard the noise of the locks, and heard that the door was being opened. But instead of tak­ing us out, they brought in another 20 peo­ple who came from other court hear­ings. Almost all of them started smok­ing. One could not breath. There were at least 40 peo­ple in the cellWe spent like this another hour and a half, and then they started tak­ing us to cells. I ended up in my cell only half past eleven.….

For more infor­ma­tion, please contact:

 Mag­nit­sky Jus­tice Campaign

+44 2074401777

e-mail: info@lawandorderinrussia.org

web­site: www.lawandorderinrussia.org



Canada’s Senate Adopts Magnitsky Sanctions Resolution

May 6, 2015

6 May 2015 – The Cana­dian Sen­ate has adopted the Mag­nit­sky sanc­tions motion and con­demned those involved in the cover up of the $230 mil­lion cor­rup­tion exposed by Sergei Magnitsky.

Join­ing with par­lia­ments around the world, the Senate’s adop­tion of this motion expresses our com­mit­ment to account­abil­ity for for­eign nation­als who com­mit the most seri­ous vio­la­tions of human rights,” said Sen­a­tor Andr­ey­chuk, who intro­duced the motion in the Sen­ate of Canada.

The Cana­dian res­o­lu­tion con­demns the unprece­dented posthu­mous trial of Sergei Mag­nit­sky in Rus­sia, and those who have been involved in cov­er­ing up the crimes he exposed.

The Res­o­lu­tion encour­ages sanc­tions against any for­eign nation­als who were respon­si­ble for the deten­tion, tor­ture or death of Sergei Mag­nit­sky, or who have been involved in cov­er­ing up the crimes he exposed.

Com­pa­ra­ble res­o­lu­tions, motions and acts have been adopted by the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, the British House of Com­mons, the Dutch Par­lia­ment, the Orga­ni­za­tion for Secu­rity and Coop­er­a­tion in Europe and others.

Sen­a­tor Linda Frum, sup­port­ing the Sen­ate motion, said:
“We in Canada and other coun­tries where jus­tice and the rule of law pre­vail must always speak up and take action when pos­si­ble against for­eign nation­als who com­mit crimes and vio­late human rights, and then attempt to cover them up. Sergei Magnitsky’s courage, which led to his tor­ture and death, should be rec­og­nized and applauded everywhere.”

The Senate’s Mag­nit­sky Motion fur­ther calls upon the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment to explore sanc­tions against any for­eign nation­als respon­si­ble for vio­la­tions of inter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized human rights in a for­eign coun­try, when author­i­ties in that coun­try are unable or unwill­ing to con­duct a thor­ough, inde­pen­dent and objec­tive inves­ti­ga­tion of the violations.

A sim­i­lar motion was adopted unan­i­mously by all par­ties in the House of Com­mons on March 25, 2015.

The adop­tion in the Cana­dian par­lia­ment of the Mag­nit­sky motion is a sig­nif­i­cant step for­ward in bring­ing account­abil­ity and con­se­quences for the tor­ture and death of Sergei Mag­nit­sky and the global fight against Russ­ian impunity,” said William Brow­der, leader of the Mag­nisky Jus­tice cam­paign and author of best-selling book ‘Red Notice: How I Became Putin’s Num­ber One Enemy,’ released in nine lan­guages and thir­teen coun­tries (www.billbrowder.com).

For more infor­ma­tion, please contact:

Mag­nit­sky Jus­tice Cam­paign
+44 2074401777
e-mail: info@lawandorderinrussia.org
web­site: www.lawandorderinrussia.org
Twit­ter: @KatieFisher__

Home of Russian opposition activist and Magnitsky Justice campaigner Natalia Pelevina is raided in Moscow

April 29, 2015

29 April 2015 – The Moscow home of Russ­ian oppo­si­tion activist Natalia Pelev­ina was raided by police oper­a­tives and inves­tiga­tive com­mit­tee detec­tives on April 17 2015. Pelev­ina is an out­spo­ken sup­porter of the Mag­nit­sky Jus­tice Cam­paign, who worked closely with mur­dered oppo­si­tion leader Boris Nemtsov and cur­rent oppo­si­tion leader Mikhail Kasyanov, seek­ing to have more names added to the US Mag­nit­sky list.

In a raid sim­i­lar to the 2008 arrest of whistle­blower lawyer Sergei Mag­nit­sky, Russ­ian offi­cials stormed Pelevina’s apart­ment with a search war­rant signed by Judge Artur Kar­pov, the same judge who refused law­suits from the fam­ily of Sergei Mag­nit­sky to appeal the deci­sion not to inves­ti­gate Magnitsky’s murder.

Accord­ing to Pelev­ina, “my phone was ripped out of my hand and I wasn’t allowed to call my lawyer. [The search] went on for hours, any­thing tech­ni­cal was con­fis­cated along with money, pass­ports, and papers.”

Natalia Pelev­ina was then taken to the Russ­ian Inves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee for inter­ro­ga­tion, which was led by Major Gen­eral of Jus­tice Rus­tam Gab­dullin. She was inter­ro­gated for four hours, dur­ing which time she became a sus­pect accused of orga­niz­ing and financ­ing the Bolot­naya street riots of May 2012, under Arti­cle 212, part 1 of the Russ­ian Constitution.

Need­less to say none of it is true and I had noth­ing to do with the 6 of May events, and wasn’t even on Bolot­naya that day,” said Pelevina.

Pelev­ina was due to fly to Wash­ing­ton DC this week, to join mem­bers of US Con­gress and promi­nent Russ­ian activists in a sym­po­sium hon­our­ing the mem­ory of Boris Nemtsov, who was gunned down out­side the Krem­lin in Feb­ru­ary this year. Because her pass­port and money were seized, she is now unable to leave Moscow, and Bill Brow­der, leader of the Mag­nit­sky Jus­tice Cam­paign, will be tak­ing her place on the panel.

Bill Brow­der will also be tes­ti­fy­ing at a hear­ing on the Global Mag­nit­sky Act at the House Com­mit­tee on For­eign Affairs today. (http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/hearing/subcommittee-hearing-global-magnitsky-human-rights-accountability-act)

Natalia Pelev­ina is a long time friend of the Mag­nit­sky Jus­tice cam­paign, whose only ‘crime’ was to speak out against the repres­sion and cor­rup­tion of the Putin regime,” said Bill Brow­der. “That she is now being per­se­cuted for a crime she did not com­mit, as Sergei Mag­nit­sky was, is clear and sin­is­ter evi­dence that the Putin regime is a police state, intent on stamp­ing out the voices of dissidents.”

Judge Artur Kar­pov has a his­tory of per­se­cut­ing dis­si­dents. On 28th Feb­ru­ary 2014 he sanc­tioned the house arrest of Russ­ian oppo­si­tion leader Alexei Navalny (http://pravo.ru/news/view/102312/), and he also sanc­tioned the 2012 arrests of Bolot­naya square activists (http://bolotnoedelo.info/participants/butchers/652/karpov-artur).

He is the same judge that refused a law­suit from Magnitsky’s mother seek­ing to end the posthu­mous pro­ceed­ing against her son in March 2013, and a law­suit from Magnitsky’s col­league, Jami­son Fire­stone in May 2013, seek­ing to com­pel the Russ­ian Inves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee to inves­ti­gate the tax offi­cials who approved the fraud­u­lent $230 mil­lion tax refund. In 2011 he also refused the law­suit from Magnitsky’s mother seek­ing to com­pel the Russ­ian Inves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee to inves­ti­gate the tor­ture and mur­der of her son.

Sergei Magnitsky’s house was raided by Inte­rior Min­istry offi­cials in 2008, after he uncov­ered a $230 mil­lion fraud com­mit­ted by cor­rupt gov­ern­ment offi­cials and tes­ti­fied against those involved. He was arrested dur­ing the raid, tor­tured in pre-trial deten­tion for a year in an effort to get him to retract his tes­ti­mony, and was even­tu­ally killed in prison in 2009.

For more infor­ma­tion, please contact:

Mag­nit­sky Jus­tice Cam­paign
+44 2074401777

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