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Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Chairman
Hon. Alcee L. Hastings, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
November 16, 2010


WASHINGTON—One year after anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky’s death, Russia can still reverse course to bring some measure of justice in this and another cases of serious human rights abuses in the country, U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), said today.


Sergei Magnitsky, who blew the whistle on a $230 million tax fraud involving senior Russian officials, died November 16, 2009, in a Russian pre-trial detention facility after being held in torturous conditions and repeatedly denied medical treatment. Those responsible for these crimes have yet to face any punishment and have even been promoted and recently decorated.


The Helsinki Commission will host a world premier of the film “Justice for Sergei” Tuesday in concert with parliaments in the European Union, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and Estonia. The U.S. screening is at 5:00 p.m. today at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center’s Orientation Theater North.


“We’ve heard enough calls for investigations that never get fully carried out or are run by the very people supposedly under investigation,” said Chairman Cardin. “What we still need is a serious and impartial investigation of Magnitsky’s original complaint detailing a scheme to defraud the Russian treasury of $230 million.”


Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) said: “I see this case as a concrete reminder of the human cost of the absence of the rule of law. Sadly there have been far too many reminders lately.”


Sen. Cardin and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) have introduced The Justice for Sergei Magnitsky Act (S. 3881 and H.R. 6365) to bar the officials connected to Magnitsky’s case from receiving traveling to or investing in the United States.


“I’m very pleased that the Commission will be holding this important screening,” Rep. McGovern said.  “It is critical that we continue to highlight the Magnitsky issue.  As the House sponsor of the ‘Justice for Sergei Magnitsky Act,’ I will work with Senator Cardin and my other colleagues to move this legislation forward.”


Media Contact: Neil Simon
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