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The Murder of Sergei Magnitsky

Photo of Sergei Magnitsky Amidst Memorial Flowers at Outdoor Location
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From: Jamison Firestone jamison.firestone

Subject: The Murder of Sergei Magnitsky
Date: Thu, 7 Jul 2011

This will be posted on my blog in about an hour in Russian at http://echo.msk.ru/blog/

The Murder of Sergei Magnitsky

This is the beginning of the end for the people who killed Sergei to hide their crimes.

Yesterday The President's Council on the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights delivered their preliminary conclusions about the Magnitsky case to President Medvedev. Their preliminary findings confirm everything that Sergei Magnitsky said and everything that we have been saying since his death. I will have much to say about this.


Yesterday the press also reported that the Council discovered that while Sergei was in pain and in need of emergency medical care, eight officers handcuffed Sergei and beat him during the last hour of his life.

The people who did this are not human. These people who arrested an innocent man to hide their crimes, who subjected him to inhumane treatment, and then, having failed to break his will and his spirit, beat that man while he was suffering and in pain with rubber batons, and who then locked him in an isolation cell until he was dead; these people are murderers.

There is no longer any question after the Council's report that Sergei was falsely arrested on fabricated charges by the officers he testified against.

The Council's findings make it clear that if Sergei had not been detained he would be alive today.

There is no question that Sergei was detained by criminals in the Russian Interior Ministry who wanted to silence him so that they could escape prosecution for their crimes against the Russian people.

When a police officer abuses his power to arrest an innocent man and that man dies in detention, the police officer has committed murder.

This is not a question of negligent doctors or lack of oversight. It is a question of high-ranking Interior Ministry officers who killed a man; and of prosecutors and judges who closed their eyes, who were paid or pressured to allow police officers to kill a man.

Let's remember that as this story unfolds and let's demand prison for all of these people. Prison for the ruthless killers of Sergei Magnitsky who cynically accused the man they killed of the theft they committed. Let's demand justice for Sergei, a man who retained his morals, decency, and integrity under torture, who died rather than compromise with evil.

President Medvedev was correct when he reminded us yesterday that there are thousands and thousands of other similar cases but he failed to recognize the importance of resolving this one particular case. There is no clearer and better documented case in Russia of official cynicism, corruption and of legal nihilism. A signal must be sent to officials that they cannot prey upon the people they are meant to serve. For that reason it is imperative that Sergei's killers be sent to prison. It is imperative that the apartments and cars, and villas they bought with money stolen from the people and registered to their parents and their spouses must be confiscated sold, and and that the proceeds be returned to the state. Resolving this problem of corrupt officials preying on their own people starts here with Sergei or the entire process of fighting corruption in Russia will fail. Failing to achieve justice here will embolden Magnitsky's killers and thousands like them. Demanding justice for Sergei is demanding justice for everyone.

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Russia, Assassinations, Beatings, Prison Deaths - Russia News - Russia - Russia - Johnson's Russia List

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