29 April 2016 – Two Russians on the European Parliament’s Magnitsky Sanctions List were welcomed at the European parliament for the premiere of a film by a Russian filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov, defaming the memory of Sergei Magnitsky.
Among those present in the audience in Brussels on April 27th were ex police officer Pavel Karpov, named in Sergei Magnitsky’s testimony for his role in the custody of documents and files, used in the fraud to steal $230 million from the Russian government, and Andrei Pavlov, the lawyer who took part in sham court proceedings, described in Sergei Magnitsky’stestimony as part of that same crime.
Pavel Karpov and Andrei Pavlov are No 7 and No 15 on the European Parliament’s Magnitsky list, which recommends the European Council to impose visa sanctions and asset freezes on those who were involved in the crimes against Sergei Magnitsky.
#7: KARPOV, Pavel, born 27 August 1977;
#15: PAVLOV, Andrey (a.k.a. Pavlov, Andrei), born 7 August 1977;
In his testimony on the fraud, Sergei Magnitsky described the roles of both Pavel Karpov and Andrei Pavlov. In particular, Sergei Magnitsky said in his 5 June 2008 testimony:
“Many times the lawyer of Firestone Duncan (CIS) Limited and the company’s representatives requested Investigator P.A. Karpov to return the seized documents that were not related to the case investigated by P.A. Karpov, but the investigator kept delaying the return of the documents saying that there were many documents and it took him much time to finish examining them.”
“I can confirm that the seized folders, which I also used in my work, contained the originals of the latest editions of the Articles of Association of LLC Kameya, LLC Parfenion, LLC Rilend and LLC Makhaon, the original certificates of the tax registration, the original certificates of the legal entity state registration, the original Minutes of meetings and resolutions of the sole participants of the companies, the original legalized certificates confirming the residency of the companies’ participants and some other documents,” testified Sergei Magnitsky.
In his testimony Sergei Magnitsky described fictitious claims filed against Hermitage’s companies in Russia and the appearance of Pavlov in those sham court proceedings:
“Almost at once it became clear that the filing and consideration of the said claims were associated with fraudulent actions because as it followed from the decisions of the Arbitration Court of Saint-Petersburg and the Leningrad Region dated 3 and 7 September 2007, the court hearings had been attended by the LLC Makhaon representative Yu.M. Maiorovaand the LLC Rilend representative A.A. Pavlov, who presented Powers of Attorney said to be issued by those companies and dated 24 August 2007. It means the Powers of Attorney were forged ones because the companies’ seals had been seized and were kept at the Main Investigative Department of the Main Internal Affairs Department of Moscow.”
Four months later, on 7 October 2008, Sergei Magnitskyconfirmed his 5 June 2008 testimony and added in his testimony the discovery of “the embezzlement of budget funds that took place in excess of Five Billion rubles, which was obviously committed by the same group of persons that used illegal re-registration of Parfenion LLC, Makhaon LLC, and Rilend LLC and filing claims against those companies as a tool for embezzling money from the state treasury.”
At the event held in the European Parliament seven and half years later, on 27 April 2016, Pavel Karpov was giving interviews to Russian TV stations, and Andrei Pavlov was able to approach Heidi Hautala, MEP from Finland, who hosted the event.
Lithuanian MEP Petras Austrevicius interrupted proceedings in the European Parliament the following day, on 28 April 2016, to draw attention to the fact that two Russian citizens whose names were placed on the European Parliament’s Magnitsky list, had been allowed access to the parliament the previous day.
Mr Austrevicius, MEP, said:
“I deplore this happening within the walls of the European Parliament,” it was, he went on, “an issue of the integrity of our own decisions.”
For more information, please contact:
Justice for Sergei Magnitsky
April 22, 2016
To: The Syrian Negotiating Parties
The International Syria Support Group
The United Nations Special Envoy Stefan de Mistura and his Team
We, the Syrian organizations working in the fields of documenting violations, accountability, transitional justice, and supporting a democratic transition in Syria, who have signed this memorandum, following the media reports on the drafting of a new constitution before August, submit this memorandum to the Syrian negotiating parties, to the United Nations Special Envoy and his team, and to the states supporting the negotiations as a procedural memorandum specifying our organizations’ position on matters pertaining to the next Syrian constitution.
The signatories agree that the writing of a permanent Syrian constitution should come at a later time subsequent to the transitional stage. The drafting of a permanent Syrian constitution should take place through a constitutional committee, which would be established through a process that is agreed upon through elections, and would have a membership that is also agreed upon through elections and on the basis of legal and constitutional experience, and upon the review of members’ résumés and characters.
The text of UN Resolution 2254 expressed support for a political process under Syrian leadership, facilitated by the United Nations, to “define a timeframe and a mechanism to draft a new constitution.” However, the resolution did not in any way stipulate that a new Syrian constitution should be completed by non-Syrian parties before August.
The undersigned organizations believe that the timeframe that the American and Russian parties have announced is not at all realistic. This timeframe deprives the Syrians from thoroughly planning the process for drafting a new constitution. It also opens the door to pre-prepared constitutional drafts that could be readily imposed on the Syrian people. Moreover, the process of drafting the new constitution is exactly as important as the new constitution itself. If a guarantee is given that a wide segment of the Syrian people can participate by putting forth their demands for the new constitution, the drafting process itself can be part of the peace-building process.
The signatories affirm that Syria needs, in the transitional period, a constitutional declaration or a temporary draft constitution that focuses on the following constitutional principles in advance of the drafting of a new constitution once the security situation has stabilized and refugees have returned to Syria:
1) The people are the source of authority and legislation.
2) The division of powers, and the affirmation of the principle of checks and balances in the constitution.
3) Making the army and security forces subject to the authority of elected civilian officials, and banning military and security figures from politics.
4) Banning torture as well as harsh, degrading, and inhumane treatment.
5) Independence of the judiciary.
6) The constitution guarantees individual rights, including freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, access to information, privacy, and the guarantee of religious freedoms.
7) The constitution guarantees the freedom to assemble and protest, including the freedom to form parties and civil society organizations.
8) Forbidding discrimination among Syrians on the basis of gender, origin, language, religion, creed, wealth, social position, political beliefs, disability, or for any other reason.
9) Giving damaged areas priority in development and reconstruction efforts.
10) Ratifying international agreements on human rights, and committing to implementing them.
11) Equality before and in the law, specifying clear bases for respecting the principles in force, and the rule of law.
12) Total equality between all citizens, male and female, in civil, political, economic, and social rights, and in all fields of public and family life; and the implementation of policies and mechanisms to achieve the principle of proportionate representation between women and men in legislative and executive bodies, and in all representative institutions, including parties and civil organizations.
The organizations that have signed this memorandum affirm that the United Nations and the International Syria Support Group must abide by the decisions of the Security Council and allow the Syrian people to participate in the drafting of their country’s next constitution.
We are ready to meet with you through our representatives at any time, and we invite you to discuss these points with us in more detail.
- Assyrian Network for Human Rights
- Baytna Syria
- Daraa Free Lawyer Bar
- Free Syrian Lawyers Aggregation
- Free Syrian Lawyers Association (FSLA)
- Human Rights Organization in Syria (MAF)
- Local Development and Small-Projects Support (LDSPS)
- Kawakibi Center for Human Rights
- Kawakibi Organization for Human Rights
- Syria Justice and Accountability Center (SJAC)
- Syrian Network For Human Rights
- The Day After (TDA)
- Syrian League for Citizenship
- Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (CME)
- Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies
- Syrian Center for Human Rights Studies
- Syrian Institute for Justice
- Syrian Free Independent Judicial Council
- Violation Documentation Center (VDC)
- Women Now
Atrocity Alert is a weekly publication by the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect highlighting and updating situations where populations are at risk of, or are enduring, mass atrocity crimes.
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
After one year of conflict, Burundi’s protracted political and human rights crisis has claimed the lives of over 500 people and displaced over 250,000. Extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detention, enforced disappearances and sexual violence are increasing. The UN Security Council should take decisive preventive action by authorizing a robust UN police presence to halt any further deterioration of the situation.
Following a number of delays, rebel leader Riek Machar returned to Juba on 26 April to be sworn in as First Vice President of South Sudan. The parties to the civil war, including Machar and President Salva Kiir, must now swiftly establish the Transitional Government of National Unity and fully implement the August 2015 peace agreement, including holding accountable those who perpetrated mass atrocities during the civil war.
UN Photo/Isaac Billy
Despite Burma/Myanmar holding successful democratic elections in November 2015, rampant discrimination continues against Rohingya Muslims. The new National League for Democracy (NLD) government has shown no sign of reversing decades-long institutionalized persecution of this vulnerable ethnic community, most of whom are also denied citizenship. The NLD cannot build a new, democratic Burma/Myanmar that upholds the human rights of its people without including the Rohingya in its reform process. The government should immediately repeal laws and policies that pose an existential threat to the survival of the Rohingya community.
Magnitsky Family Blasts the Green Party in the European Parliament for Hosting Premiere of a False and Offensive Film about Sergei Magnitsky by Andrei Nekrasov
27 April 2016 – The widow and mother of Sergei Magnitsky have written to the Green/EFA faction in the European Parliament (see their letter) protesting the premiere of a new false, offensive and defamatory film by Russian filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov about their murdered husband and son. The premiere will take place this afternoon at 5:30 pm at the European Parliament.
The premiere is sponsored at the European Parliament by the Greens/EFA Group, and hosted by Heidi Hautala, Finnish MEP, Vice President of the Green/EFA Group, who was reported in the Finnish press to be filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov’s girlfriend.
The Magnitsky family expressed their indignation in the letter about this new attempt to blacken Sergei Magnitsky’s name. They view this film as promoting the interests of those who Sergei Magnitsky exposed and who are afraid of the truth he had uncovered.
“This film has been made in the interest of those who are scared of the truth uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, – said Sergei Magnitsky’s mother and widow. – “By this letter the family of Sergei Magnitsky state their highly negative reaction to this film and protest against unconscionable attempts to blacken Sergei Magnitsky’s name. We are categorically against public viewing of the Andrei Nekrasov’s film, against its distribution in any form.”
The letter from the Magnitsky family states that the film contains false information and lies about Sergei Magnitsky. They are categorically against any showing or distribution of this film, including and especially at the European Parliament.
“We believe that the film by Andrei Nekrasov, based on his inventions, and not on documents and facts, is degrading to the dignity of Sergei Magnitsky, degrading to the deceased, who cannot defend himself,” says the letter from the Magnitsky family.
The film by Andrei Nekrasov and producer Torstein Grude of Piraya Films (Norway) is designed to perpetuate a Russian government disinformation campaign about the Magnitsky case for a Western audience. The film claims that Sergei Magnitsky was not beaten in custody, was not a lawyer, did not testify against Russian officials, did not investigate the US$230 million fraud, but instead committed it himself.
These false claims are contradicted by numerous documents. In particular, the claim that he wasn’t beaten is refuted by the photos of his injuries from the state autopsy; his death certificate stating he had a suspected cerebrial cranial injury; certificates from the detention center where he died recording the application of rubber batons; the Russian state forensic opinion finding that Sergei Magnitsky’s injuries were consistent with blunt force trauma.
Magnitsky’s profession as a lawyer is demonstrated by his role in representing his multiple clients in court, providing them legal advice, and his own testimony identifying himself as a lawyer.
The fact that Sergei Magnitsky’s testified against police officers is proven by his testimony from 5 June 2008 in which he described the theft of Hermitage’s companies and fraudulent claims against them, mentioning police officer Kuznetsov 14 times and police officer Karpov 13 times, his 7 October 2008 testimony in which he confirmed his 5 June 2008 testimony and testified that the same group who stole Hermitage’s companies stoleUS$230 mln from the Russian budget.
The claim that Sergei Magnitsky stole US$230 mln is refuted by the discovery of the illicit proceeds from the fraud on accounts connected to the Russian officials and members of their families; the joint travel of the criminals and Russian government officials involved in the fraud; the fact that Magnitsky helped Hermitage report the crime three weeks before the criminals applied for the fraudulent tax refund, and the fact that the same criminal organisation did similar crimes before and after.
The false and defamatory allegations about Sergei Magnitsky that Nekrasov tries to make have been refuted in the past by independent international institutions including the Council of Europe, the EU Parliament, the USState Department and many others who have studied the case in detail. Furthermore, the allegations in the film are also contradicted by the Russian government’s own evidence, court records, and expert conclusions.
In Sergei Magnitsky’s own hand-written statement, 4 days before his death, on 12 November 2009, he wrote:
“By now it has been a year that I am being held hostage in prison in the interests of the persons, who are interested to ensure that those actually guilty in the theft of 5.4 billion rubles [US$230 million] from the budget will never be brought to justice. … Investigator Silchenko does not want to identify the other persons, who made this fraud possible. He wants the lawyers of the Hermitage Fund, who pursued and continue to pursue attempts for this case be investigated, be forced to emigrate from their country, in which criminal cases were fabricated against them on phony grounds, or like me be detained in custody.
My detention in custody has absolutely nothing in common with the purpose of criminal justice, which I referred to earlier. It has nothing in common with the legal purpose of restraint listed in Article 97 of the Russian Criminal Procedural Code, but this is a punishment to which I have been subjected for merely defending the interests of my client and, ultimately, the interests of the Government, because should my client’s interests be realized, should the law enforcement agencies stop obstructing the interests of my client and instead assisted them, then the theft of 5.4 billion rubles from the state would not be possible. The actual purpose of my criminal prosecution and my detention in custody are in conflict with the law.”
The mother of Sergei Magnitsky has previously written to the producer of the film, but received no reply.
Letter from Sergei Magnitsky Family: http://russian-untouchables.com/docs/Letter%20from%20family%20%20on%20Nekrasov%20movie.pdf
For more information please contact:
Justice for Sergei Magnitsky
Keeping mass atrocity prevention a priority for the next UN Secretary-General
UN Photo/Marco Castro
As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon approaches the end of his term, member states and civil society have campaigned for improved transparency in the selection process for the next Secretary-General. From 12 to 14 April the President of the General Assembly convened interactive dialogues with the nine candidates currently nominated for the position. Member states questioned the candidates on a wide range of global issues.
These dialogues presented an opportunity to encourage the candidates to ensure that R2P and the prevention of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing remain a core priority of the UN. Spain and Mexico directly asked some candidates to explain how they would implement R2P in their work if elected. Four candidates, Dr. Igor Lukšić, Ms. Irina Bokova, Ms. Natalia Gherman and Dr. Srgjan Kerim, specifically mentioned R2P in their written statements and remarks.
During his term, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon worked to put “Human Rights up Front” in responding to grave violations of human rights. The next UN Secretary-General should continue efforts to keep mass atrocity prevention at the core of the UN’s mission. The next Secretary-General must emphasize the need for UN member states to consistently and comprehensively deliver on their commitment to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
Global Centre Advocacy Highlights
Our Executive Director, Dr. Simon Adams, recently met with six of the candidates to convey how the next UN Secretary-General can prioritize implementation and operationalization of R2P and the prevention of mass atrocity crimes. For more information, see our story on Storify.
The Global Centre also co-signed a joint statement with Amnesty International, CIVICUS, FIDH, Human Rights Watch and the World Federalist Movement on priorities for a human rights agenda for the next Secretary-General. The Global Centre will continue to engage with candidates in the coming months.
Sixth Annual Meeting of the Global Network of R2P Focal Points
The sixth annual meeting of the Global Network of R2P Focal Points will be held in Seoul from 20 to 22 June 2016. The government of the Republic of Korea is hosting the meeting in collaboration with the Global Centre. The focus of the meeting will be on practical implementation of R2P, including operational initiatives to strengthen national, regional and international capacities to prevent and halt mass atrocity crimes.