Russia-US stand apart over Magnitsky bill

Moscow News

The US senate is considering a resounding rap on the knuckles to Russia, in a bill that went before Congress on Thursday, lambasting the rule of law in Russia and condemning a raft of officials whom supporters of dead lawyer Sergei Magnitsky accuse of corruption and complicity in his death.

A bipartisan bill sponsored by 15 senators proposes to again freeze the assets and block visas of individuals who Washington sees as committing gross human rights violations against Russian human rights activists.

The Russian foreign ministry said the bill was “regrettable,” RIA Novosti reported.

Out of synch

“It is not only in discord with the current level of interaction between our countries, prompting associations with the Cold War era, but also goes beyond the bounds of elementary decency,” the ministry’s press and information department said on Friday.

Making a stand

The bill targets those “responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of human rights committed against individuals seeking to expose illegal activity carried out by officials of the Government of the Russian Federation; or to obtain, exercise, defend, or promote internationally recognized human rights and freedoms, such as the freedoms of religion, expression, association, and assembly and the rights to a fair trial and democratic elections,” Hermitage Capital, the firm where Magnitsky was working when he was taken into custody, said in an emailed press release.

It is the second bill of this kind before Congress. The first went before lawmakers last autumn but mid-term elections mean that pending legislation had to re-submitted.

Russia in the spotlight

Senator Benjamin Cardin, co-chairman of the US Helsinki Commission and one of Magnitsky’s earliest champions in congress told senators that Magnitsky’s life and death showed that truth is more important than even life itself and called the dead lawyer’s case a “rebuke” to those whom greed and cowardice has “blinded to their duties.”

“Sergei Magnitsky’s experience…Appears to be emblematic of a broader pattern of disregard for the numerous domestic and international human rights commitments of the Russian Federation and impunity for those who violate basic human rights,” the bill says.

Magnitsky died aged 37 in a Moscow pre-trial detention facility in 2009 after being refused medical treatment for pancreatitis. He had been detained as part of an investigation into embezzlement involving Hermitage Capital investment, for whom he was working.

Magnitsky claimed he had been falsely imprisoned by the same officials in the Interior Ministry whom he accused of embezzlement. займы онлайн на карту срочно займ срочно без отказов и проверок https://zp-pdl.com/apply-for-payday-loan-online.php https://zp-pdl.com buy over the counter medicines

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