Senators Cardin, Wicker, Shaheen: Spoke on human rights violations in Russia and the case of Sergei Magnitsky

Republican Senate Gov

Morning Business
Feb 16 2012
10:46 AM

Colloquy: (Senators Cardin, Wicker, Shaheen)
Spoke on human rights violations in Russia and the case of Sergei Magnitsky.

Senator Cardin: (10:08 AM)
“Just last week as part of a bilateral Presidential commission, Attorney General Holder met with Russian Minister of Justice to discuss the rule of law issues. That same week, Russian officials moved in their criminal prosecution of Sergei Magnitsky. I remind you that Mr. Magnitsky has been dead for more than two years. Last may, I joined with Senator McCain and Senator Wicker and 11 other of our senators from both parties to introduce the Sergei Magnitsky rule of law accountability act. We now have nearly 30 cosponsors, and I urge more to join us and look at ways to move forward on helping halt abuses like this in the future. After exposing the largest known tax fraud in Russian history, Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian tax lawyer, working for an American firm in Moscow, was falsely arrested for crimes he did not commit and tortured in prison. Six months later, he became seriously ill and was consistently denied medical attention despite 20 former requests and then on the night of November 16, 2009, he went into critical condition, but instead of being treated in a hospital, he was put in an isolation cell, chained to a bed, beaten by eight prison guards with rubber batons for one hour and 18 minutes until he was dead. Sergei Magnitsky was 37 years old, left behind a wife, two children and a dependent mother. While the facts around his arrest, detention and death has been independently verified and accepted at the highest levels of Russian government, those implicated in his death and the corruption he exposed remain unpunished, in positions of authority, and some have even been decorated and promoted. Following Magnitsky ‘s death, they have continued to target others, including American business interests in Moscow. These officials have been credibly linked to similar crimes and have ties to Russian mafia, international arms trafficking and even drug cartels. The money they stole from the Russian budget was bartered through a network of banks including two in the united states. Calls for investigation have fallen on deaf ears, and in a turn of events, law enforcement officers accused by Magnitsky and those most involved in his murder are – and those that are accused by Magnitsky and those most complicit in his murder are moving to try him for the very tax crimes they committed. think of the irony here. He exposed corruption in Russia. As a result, he was arrested, imprisoned, tortured and killed. Now, those who perpetrated the crime on him are charging him after his death with the crimes they committed. We cannot be silent.”

Senator Wicker: (10:12 AM)
“We look for the day when Russia begins to uphold democracy, human rights and the rule of law, but unfortunately today is not the day. In recent months, an overwhelming number of headlines out of Russia focus on the Russian spring. Opposition groups, citizens and in many cases the mainstream media have reacted to moves by the Russian regime they view as no longer acceptable. on September 24 of last year, President Medvedev struck a deal that would clear the way for his predecessor, Vladimir Putin, to run next month for a third presidential term. As the Wall Street Journal noted in an opinion piece last December, even the most thick-skinned citizens saw that turning the presidency into the object of a private swap and made a mockery of the constitution. Russia’s fraudulent parliamentary elections in December further deepened the political crisis and affirmed the erosion of democracy. Secretary Clinton, our Secretary of State, called them neither free nor fair. So this is a bipartisan denunciation of the process. Observers have claimed that 12% to 15% of the votes were falsified in favor of the United Russia party. According to most analysts, improvement is not expected in the upcoming presidential election this march but these corrupt actions have not been ignored. On December 10, more than streets of Moscow in protest. Similarly on February , some 120,000 citizens braved below zero weather in central Moscow. Their demands were clear: release political prisoners like hotokovski and Lbedev, allow opposition parties to register, pledge not to give a single vote to Putin on March 4. Similar rallies were held in small towns across Russia. We can be glad for the call for reform, and we’re glad that it’s growing louder. According to a February poll by Russia’s independent Lavata center, 43% of Russians now support pro-democracy protests. Additional protests are already scheduled for later this month.”

Senator Cardin: (10:22 AM)
“Mr. Magnitsky died two years ago. Through crimes that were perpetrated on him that have been well documented. The Russian federation is now charging him after his death with those crimes. After his death. Not even in Stalin’s time did they try people after they died. This is the first time in Russian history a man has been tried after his death. Further, they have summoned Mr. Magnitsky ‘s widow and ailing mother as witnesses. This is a new chapter in brazen impunity. An editorial last week in the Financial Times observed that if he’s convicted “the accused citizenship could be revoked, exiled, forced to die somewhere else.” That might be fun if it wasn’t real. If it wasn’t enough, an extradition treaty legal forces like what we – farces like we’ve seen in the case of Sergei Magnitsky or many others bring reasonable people to only two conclusions, both of which are profoundly disturbing. Either senior leaders are not the ones running the country, or the senior leadership is complicit in these outrages. The Magnitsky story sounds like a Hollywood thriller, but his case is real, and the rampant corruption, violence and lawlessness does exist in the Russian government. His cause has become a global campaign for justice. As senator Wicker pointed out, the popular opinion in Russia is on the side of justice. There’s been over 4,000 stories on Sergei Magnitsky since his death in Russia. We know from countless historical cases such as the death as the anti-apart ties activist Steve Bitko in 1977, that sometimes one person’s death can change the system. Since we’re now on the internet, such change often comes faster than expected.”

Senator Shaheen: (10:25 AM)
“If we didn’t see the facts, we would believe this was fiction, what’s going on in Russia today but I think these efforts are particularly important, given what’s happening today in Russia. We’ve seen historic demonstrations on the streets of Moscow over the last several months. Ordinary Russian citizens, fed up with nearly a decade of corruption, have courageously taken to the streets to demand that their voices be heard. The fraudulent Duma elections and the cynical and manipulative decision by Prime Minister Putin to return to the presidency have reawakened civil society throughout Russia. As a leading Russian social activist, Alexi Novalni wrote following the peaceful December demonstrations, “we all have the only weapon we need and the most powerful. that is the sense of self-respect.” Today as we call for justice for human rights abuses in Russia, we also stand with those brave Russian citizens who have risked so much in calling for their rights to be respected, just as Sergei Magnitsky did. As we’ve seen throughout this last year of upheaval around the globe, the rising voice of a public driven to peaceful protest can be deafening. Prime Minister Putin and his regime would be wise to listen to the people of Russia.”

Senator Wicker: (10:32 AM)
“We are here to tell the sordid facts of this case, but we’re also here because change can occur. If this were completely hopeless, what would be the point of this exercise? Change occurred in Eastern Europe, and I must admit there was a time in my younger days when I doubted it would ever occur. My hat is off to the intrepid members of the public oversight commission who had the courage to issue a report critical of their government, to the Russian President’s human rights council. So voices are being heard. There is a thread of truth coming from the almost iron curtain of authoritarianism that we have reverted to in Russia. The senator from New Hampshire mentioned other organizations in Russia, and I’m glad she has inserted those letters into the record. I also would point out that I have to applaud the international reaction. In December, the European parliament passed a resolution recommending an EU wide travel ban and asked that freeze for officials tied to Magnitsky ‘s death. But we need to act as a Senate and as a Congress, and so I’m calling on every senator within the sound of my voice today. Every legislative director dealing with defense and foreign policy issues once again to look at the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act.”

Senator Cardin: (10:35 AM)
“What can we do about this? There are many aspects of the Magnitsky tragedy that are difficult for us to pursue here in the United States. it can’t be our criminal justice system. It’s got to be the Russian system that has to be reformed to deal with this, but there are steps that we can take, and the legislation that we all have filed recognizes that the right to visit America is a privilege granted by the United States. The visa is a privilege. There is no guaranteed right to come to America and one thing we can do is say those who are committing these gross human rights violations should not be given the privilege of entering into the United States The legislation that we have authored institutionalizes a process where we deny the right for those individuals to visit and come into the United States. Obviously, that has a price to them. Of course, what we’re trying to do is get the government, in this case Russia, to do what’s right. The second thing we could do is deal with their financial participation in U.S. institutions. These people do get involved in international finance. They do have resources that travel through U.S. financial institutions, and we do have laws that allow us to hold those funds. Through due process, we can do that and that is the reason why the legislation that we had talked about today, the legislation that I introduced along with my colleagues would institutionalize those types of changes.”

Senator Shaheen: (10:41 AM)
“One of the things you talked about so eloquently is our ability here as we look at our financial systems to help impact what’s happening in Russia. one of the things that we heard about at the hearing on the Magnitsky bill was from the head of the American chamber in Russia who talked about what the impact is on American companies trying to do business of this kind of case, and the concern that it raises about issues of corruption and the ability to operate freely in Russia. So don’t you agree that one of the things that we can do is also to urge those companies who are operating in Russia to speak out when cases like this happen and they have concerns about what it does to their business in the country.”

Senator Cardin: (10:42 AM)
“You’re absolutely right. It’s a lot easier for them to be able to speak out if they know that we are going to continue to raise these issues.” займ на карту unshaven girl https://zp-pdl.com/get-a-next-business-day-payday-loan.php zp-pdl.com микрозайм онлайн

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