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Magnitsky Deserves Justice


A tombstone on the grave of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who died in jail, at a cemetery in Moscow. (FILE)

This month marks the 5th anniversary of the death of Russian lawyer Sergey Magnitskiy in one of Russia's harshest pre-trial detention centers, where he was repeatedly denied medical care and tortured.

This month marks the 5th anniversary of the death of Russian lawyer Sergey Magnitskiy in one of Russia's harshest pre-trial detention centers, where he was repeatedly denied medical care and tortured. A lawyer for the Hermitage Fund, Mr. Magnitskiy exposed a case of fraud involving some $230 million and implicating members of the Russian police, judiciary, and tax officials, among others. Mr. Magnitskiy was arrested in November 2008 and held for nearly a year without due process.

Despite widely-publicized, credible evidence of criminal conduct resulting in Magnitskiy's death, Russian authorities have failed to bring to justice those responsible. Indeed, many of the officials involved in the alleged fraud Magnitskiy uncovered received promotions and awards. The United States remains concerned about impunity for this crime and atmosphere of intimidation for those who work to uncover corruption or human rights abuses in Russia.

The U.S. will continue to fully support efforts to bring these individuals to justice, including through implementation of the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 – a law aimed at punishing Russian officials who were responsible for the death of Sergey Magnitskiy by prohibiting their entrance to the United States and their use of the banking system.

Mr. Magnitskiy's case has become a symbol of corruption in Russia and the abuse of citizens who challenge the authorities. It's up to Russian authorities to restore integrity to their judicial system. That starts with full accountability for those responsible for Sergey Magnitskiy's unjust imprisonment and wrongful death.

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