Posts Tagged ‘mcgovern’
On Nov. 16, 2009, Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky died of heart failure in Moscow’s Matrosskaya Tishina Prison, after eight guards are alleged to have beaten him with rubber batons for more than an hour. An ambulance crew that had been called to provide medical attention was detained outside his cell until it was too late.
According to a report issued by then-Russian President Dimitry Medvedev’s Human Rights Council, the death of Mr. Magnitsky, 37, followed his unlawful 2008 arrest and subsequent 11-month detainment, during which he was repeatedly denied medical attention and tortured by his captors while awaiting trial.
Despite these findings, no arrests have been made in connection with Mr. Magnitsky’s death, and none appear to be forthcoming. But his death has since become an international affair, with U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Worcester, and U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., at the forefront: The two legislators worked together to enact a law late last year that seeks to hold accountable those in Russia who were involved,
The statute, formally known as the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012, this month resulted in publication of a list of Russian officials that the State Department says were responsible. These individuals have been barred from entering the United States, with some of them subject to a freeze on personal assets in this country.
At the same time, the Magnitsky law also has triggered a retaliatory ban on adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens, while creating further complications in an already strained relationship between the United States and Russia. (more…)
The United States has slapped visa bans and asset freezes on 18 individuals, most of them Russian officials, whose names have been published on the “Magnitsky list.”
The move could further strain ties between Washington and Moscow, which has vowed swift retaliation.
It could also foreshadow a struggle between the White House and the members of Congress who advocate a longer list targeting higher-ranking Russian figures.
The majority of the men and women identified — 16 — are targeted for their role in the case of whistle-blowing Moscow lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. The 37-year-old Magnitsky died following nearly a year of pretrial custody after implicating Russian officials in a scheme to steal $230 million from state coffers.
His case has since become an international symbol of injustice and a marker of Russia’s troubling human-rights and rule-of-law record.
Among the mostly low- to mid-level officials sanctioned is Uzbekistan-born Oleg Silchenko. As a senior investigator in the Russian Interior Ministry, he allegedly arranged for Magnitsky’s arrest and abuse in prison in an effort to make the lawyer withdraw his allegations against ministry colleagues.
THE ‘MAGNITSKY LIST’
Natalya Vinogradova (more…)
Washington risked reopening a diplomatic rift with Moscow following the publication of a blacklist of Russian officials who are banned from the United States because of their alleged involvement in the death in custody of the whistleblowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.
Earlier in the day Moscow had warned that any decision to go ahead and release the list could damage relations between the two countries. Washington passed legislation banning the officials in December but had so far put off making the list public until now.
According to the list released last night on the Treasury’s website there are 18 officials who have been named. It was compiled in the wake of the arrest and death in custody of Mr Magnitsky, a father of two and Moscow-based lawyer who helped expose a multi-million dollar tax scam that was allegedly carried out by criminal underworld figures allied with Russian officials and police officers.
Among those included on the blacklist is Pavel Karpov, a former interior ministry police officer who is currently suing William Browder in the UK courts for libel. Mr Browder, a millionaire hedge fund manager and staunch critic of official corruption inside Russia, employed Mr Magnitsky to uncover a $230million tax scam against a series of subsidiaries that were once owned by his company Hermitage capital.
After publicly naming a number of officials Mr Magnistky was arrested for tax evasion and died nine months later in prison. His family, rights groups and Russian’s own human rights investigation body say there was evidence he was beaten in custody and denied vital medication.
Mr Browder has named Mr Karpov as one of the officials behind the scam. However the former detective has vehemently denied any involvement and has launched a libel case against him in the High Court. (more…)
The Obama administration has sanctioned 18 Russian officials for alleged violations of human rights in their country, adding new strain to the difficult U.S.-Russian relationship.
U.S. officials released the names of 18 Russian officials on Friday who they said were involved in three human rights cases, including the persecution and death of Russian whistle-blower Sergei Magnitsky. The officials will be denied visas to the United states, and any U.S. financial assets they have will be frozen.
The blacklisting was carried out under the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012, which has become a major irritant between the United States and Russia. Russians consider the law an example of hypocritical American meddling and have already adopted a retaliatory law calling for sanctions against U.S. officials.
U.S. officials said other Russian officials were sanctioned on a separate, classified blacklist. Those officials can’t be publicly identified without threatening U.S. security, they said.
Officials in Russia said they would announce their own blacklisting of U.S. officials involved in what they see as human rights abuses, as well as lawmakers responsible for the Magnitsky act.
“We will react, and [our] U.S. partners are aware of that,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a news conference in Switzerland.
But the American list doesn’t include the names of top Russian officials, a fact that appeared to soften the reaction in Moscow. (more…)
The Treasury Department on Friday announced sanctions against 18 Russians over human rights violations, but avoided some prominent officials whose inclusion could have enflamed U.S.-Russian relations.
U.S. lawmakers who backed the sanctions viewed the list as timid while a prominent Russian lawmaker said it could have been worse. State Department officials denied that political considerations had been a factor.
The list was mandated by a law passed last year and named for Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who was arrested in 2008 for tax evasion after accusing Russian police officials of stealing $230 million in tax rebates. He died in prison the next year, allegedly after being beaten and denied medical treatment.
The list included Artem Kuznetsov and Pavel Karpov, two Russian Interior Ministry officers who put Magnitsky behind bars after he accused them of stealing $230 million from the state. Two tax officials the lawyer accused of approving the fraudulent tax refunds, and several other Interior Ministry officials accused of persecuting Magnitsky were also on the list. Absent were senior officials from President Vladimir Putin’s entourage whom some human rights advocates had hoped to see sanctioned.
Magnitsky’s former client, London-based investor William Browder, who has campaigned to bring those responsible in his death to justice, has claimed that one of those tax officials, Olga Stepanova, has bought luxury real estate in Moscow, Dubai and Montenegro and wired money through her husband’s bank accounts worth $39 million. (more…)
The United States has published a list of mainly Russian officials banned from entering the country because of alleged human rights abuses.
Russia had earlier warned against making the 18 names public, warning it could severely damage relations.
The US imposed the sanctions after Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky died in jail in 2009 in disputed circumstances.
The list includes tax officials and police officers who jailed Magnitsky after he accused them of corruption.
But senior officials from President Vladimir Putin’s entourage who had been expected to be included were left off, including Russia’s top police official Alexander Bastrykin.
Alexei Pushkov, a senior Russian lawmaker, said the pared down list suggested that “the US presidential administration decided not to take the path of aggravating a political crisis with Moscow”, according to the Interfax news agency.
Some 250 names had originally been put forward by US politicians. The final list includes people from Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, 16 of them linked to the Magnitsky case. (more…)
The Obama administration has blacklisted 18 Russians for human rights violations in relation to the case of deceased lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. The move could cause further friction between Washington and Moscow.
The US Treasury on Tuesday released the names of 16 Moscow prosecutors, investigators, tax officials and judges linked to the Magnitsky case. Two Chechens tied to other alleged rights violations were also on the list.
The list was part of a law passed last year, named after Russian human rights lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. Magnitsky died in 2009 after 11 months in Russian jails. He was arrested for tax evasion in 2008 after he exposed massive theft of state assets by Russian officials. He died in prison after allegedly being beaten and denied medical treatment.
Included on the list were Artem Kuznetsov and Pavel Karpov, two Interior Ministry officials who imprisoned Magnitsky after he accused them of stealing $230 million (175 million euros) from the state. Tax officials accused of approving fraudulent tax refunds, as well as other Interior Ministry officials accused of persecuting Magnitsky, were also on the list.
The US Treasury also named Moscow judges Aleksey Krivoruchko, Sergei Podoprigorov, Yelena Stashina and Svetlana Ukhnalyova, who were involved in Magnitsky’s detention.
Two men from Chechnya, Letscha Bogatirov and Kazbek Dukuzov, were also blacklisted. Bogatirov was accused of killing a critic of Chechnya’s Moscow-backed leader Ramzan Kadyrov in 2009, while Dukuzov was arrested, tried and exonerated in the 2004 murder of US journalist Paul Klebnikov in Moscow.
List required by Magnitsky Act. (more…)
The Kremlin was bracing for the release late Friday of a U.S. blacklist of Russians that could include Investigative Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.
At the same time, the authorities were preparing to release their own blacklist with U.S. citizens.
Washington was expected to release its blacklist at 2 p.m. (10 p.m. Moscow time). The list, required under the Magnitsky Act signed into law in December, aims to punish Russian officials implicated of human rights violations by barring their entry into the U.S. and depriving them of U.S.-based assets.
President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman acknowledged Friday that the release of the blacklists would further strain relations between the two countries.
“The appearance of any kind of blacklist will, of course, have a negative impact on Russian-U.S. relations,” Peskov said. (more…)
The U.S. government is expected this week to finalize the list of Russian officials to be punished for suspected human rights abuses under the Magnitsky Act. But the final version of the list, due to be released by Saturday, may become a sticking point between Congress and the State Department.
Congress is apprehensive about the White House’s decision to release only 15 names so as not to fuel tensions with the Kremlin, Kommersant reported, citing a source in Congress who did not specify why the number was 15. Representative James McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat who was one of the authors of the law, sent to Obama’s administration on Friday his own list of 280 names.
McGovern said a shortlist such as the one by the White House might produce a conflict between the State Department and Congress, and the latter would insist on gradually updating the list. “If the final version is short, we will have to pass a new, tougher amendment,” he told Kommersant in an interview published Monday.
The law is aimed to punish Russian officials implicated in whistle-blowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky’s death in jail in 2009, a year after he had accused officials of embezzling $230 million in state funds. Officials placed on the list would be banned from entering the U.S., and their assets there would be frozen.
According to the Magnitsky Act, signed into law in December, the list of officials must be sent to Congress by April 13. U.S. President Barack Obama said in a memorandum Friday that he had delegated functions for creating the list to the U.S. Treasury and State Departments. (more…)