Justice for Sergei Magnitsky: Press release: Two Russians Included in the European Parliament’s Magnitsky List Welcomed at the European Parliament for Anti-Magnitsky Event

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.MMaiorovaand 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

+44 207 440 1777

e-mail: info@lawandorderinrussia.org  



Syria Justice and Accountability Centre: Position Paper on the Upcoming Transitional Constitution

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.

Signatories alphabetically,

  1. Assyrian Network for Human Rights
  2. Badael
  3. Baytna Syria
  4. Dawlaty
  5. Daraa Free Lawyer Bar
  6. Free Syrian Lawyers Aggregation
  7. Free Syrian Lawyers Association (FSLA)
  8. Human Rights Organization in Syria (MAF)
  9. Local Development and Small-Projects Support (LDSPS)
  10. Kawakibi Center for Human Rights
  11. Kawakibi Organization for Human Rights
  12. Syria Justice and Accountability Center (SJAC)
  13. Syrian Network For Human Rights
  14. The Day After (TDA)
  15. Syrian League for Citizenship
  16. Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (CME)
  17. Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies
  18. Syrian Center for Human Rights Studies
  19. Syrian Institute for Justice
  20. Syrian Free Independent Judicial Council
  21. Violation Documentation Center (VDC)
  22. Women Now

Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect: Atrocity Alert, Issue 2

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.

South Sudan

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.

Justice for Sergei Magnitsky: Magnitsky’s mother blasts Green Party for premiering defamatory film about Sergei Magnitsky at the European Parliament

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


+44 207 440 1777

e-mail: info@lawandorderinrussia.org


Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect: R2P in Focus, Issue 1

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.

Rounded Rectangle: View the Joint Statement

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.