Posts Tagged ‘edward donga’

April 2013

Magnitsky Act: Holding Russia accountable in lawyer’s death

Telegram & Gazette

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.

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