Who was Sergei Leonidovich Magnitsky? 

Magnitsky was a Russian Tax advisor who was arbitrary arrested in Moscow Russia in 2008 by the Russian Government.  He died a year after his arrest in November 16, 2009 at the age of 37. He was arrested because of investigating a massive case of corruption involving hundreds of millions of U.S dollars and several government officials. 

Magnitsky was accused of committing the tax fraud himself and immediately sent to the Butyrka prison where he died 11 months after in strange circumstances. During prison-time he developed several illnesses and was denied of proper medical treatment. 

After his death, the case generated a diplomatic crisis between Russia and the United States. More specifically, in the year 2012 when the U.S Congress approved the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability act. The first intention of the law was to punish Russian government officials involved in the Magnitsky case by denying the entrance to the United States and blocking the use of their banking system. The rue was then enacted by the senate and the former president Barack Obama. 

At first, there were 18 Russian officials whom were prejudicated by the GMA. All of them directly involved in the case. Currently, there are officials sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act from different countries: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Ukraine and Chechnya.

In 2009, Magnitsky denounced the criminal actions and violations of the right to personal freedom, integrity and fair trial of the Russian State before the European Court of Human Rights. In March 2010, Sergei Magnitsky’s widow denounced the violation of her late husband’s right to life by the Russian government.In August 27th, 2019, the European Court of Human Rights, case Magnitsky and Others v. Russia, settled that Magnitsky was wrongfully imprisoned, was not given precise medical attention and was mistreated. Moreover, it states that Russia violated its right to life, to freedom and security by keeping him one year in prison without trial. 

The Program

Canada, United Kingdom, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have adopted the GMA. Currently the European Union and Australia are in the process of implementing the act in their respective regions. 

The purpose of the program elaborated by the Human Rights Institute for Peace and Freedom is to promote the implementation of the Magnitsky Act in Europe as a short-term goal and eventually for many other countries to incorporate the same act. 

The HRI for Peace and Freedom believes that the GMA is adequate for our times. As our Secretary General Antonio Puppio states “human rights violations are committed in a lucrative sense”. 

The GMA is a tool to defend democracy and freedom as well as to fight both corruption and human rights violations around the world. Moreover, for governments to fulfill their obligations with citizens of respecting fundamental rights. 

Within the different activities carried by the HRI for Peace and Freedom under the Magnitsky Program:

• The promotion through dissemination activities on the content and scope of the Magnitsky Act.

• Lobbying meetings with European parliamentarians. 

• Informative activities on legislation in different academic, social and political spaces. 

• Creation of informative materials on the content and scope of the Magnitsky Act.