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November 16, 2017

Towards a UK Magnitsky Law? Lessons from Canada and Elsewhere

Henry Jackson Society

Date: 12:00-13:00, Thursday 16th November 2017

Location: Thatcher Room, Portcullis House,
1 Parliament St, Westminster, London SW1A 2JR

William Browder
Chief Executive Officer of Hermitage Capital Management

Vladimir Kara-Murza 
Vice Chairman of Open Russia

Marcus Kolga 
Award-winning Documentary Filmmaker

James Bezan MP
Canadian Member of Parliament

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The story of Sergei Magnitsky’s 2009 death is an allegory of Vladimir Putin’s Russia – brutal, corrupt, and oppressive. The 37-year-old accountant was tortured, denied medical attention, and died in a Moscow prison cell. He had been targeted by Russian authorities for exposing a US$230 million tax fraud involving high-level government officials. In the years since, several countries have passed Magnitsky legislation which sanctions Russians implicated in his death: the United States, in 2012; Estonia, in 2016;  and Canada, in 2017. In the UK, a ‘Magnitsky Amendment’ was included in the Criminal Finances Bill 2017, but more could be done.

By kind invitation of Ian Austin MP, The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to invite you to an event with William Browder, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Marcus Kolga and James Bezan for a discussion of the Global Magnitsky Justice campaign; what the UK can learn from Canada and other countries that have adopted legislation; and, the role the campaign can play in bringing about change within Russia.

William BrowderWilliam Browder is the founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, which was the investment adviser to the largest foreign investment fund in Russia until 2005, when Browder was denied entry to the country and declared a “threat to national security” as a result of his battle against corporate corruption. Following his expulsion, the Russian authorities raided his offices, seized Hermitage Fund’s investment companies and used them to steal $230 million of taxes that the companies had previously paid. When Browder’s lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, investigated the crime, he was arrested by the same officers he implicated, tortured for 358 days, and killed in custody at the age of 37 in November 2009.Since then, Browder has spent the last 5 years fighting for justice for Mr. Magnitsky.

Vladimir Kara-MurzaVladimir Kara-Murza is Vice Chairman of Open Russia, an NGO founded by Russian businessman and former political prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky, which promotes civil society and democracy in Russia. Vladimir was elected to the Coordinating Council of the Russian Opposition in 2012, and served as deputy leader of the People’s Freedom Party from 2015 to 2016.

Marcus KolgaMarcus Kolga is an international award winning documentary filmmaker, communications and brand strategist, journalist and political activist, Marcus’ work has appeared internationally in print, television, theatres and on the internet. His films “GULAG 113” and “Sinking The Gustloff” have been screened and broadcast in North America and Europe (in Canada they have been seen by nearly 3 million viewers). Marcus’ firm, Liefa Communications is responsible for the development and design of many internationally acclaimed websites. Marcus founded and published his first North American newspaper (The Northern European circ. 50k) in 2000 and has since become expert on regional European and Russian issues with a focus on communications and media strategies as tools of foreign policy and defence on the state level as well as with NGO’s and other organizations.

James Bezan

James Bezan has been successfully elected five times as a Canadian Member of Parliament in the riding of Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman in Manitoba.  Bezan served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence from 2013-2015, and was active on files dealing with military procurement, mental health in the armed forces, the war against ISIS, and Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. Bezan currently serves in the Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet as the Official Opposition Shadow Minister for  National Defence.  He has been very outspoken on the issue of Ukrainian sovereignty, democracy and human rights, and as a result, was one of thirteen Canadian officials sanctioned by the Russian Government in 2014.  For his work on Ukrainian issues he has been recognized with numerous awards both in Canada and abroad, including the ‘Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise’ (Ukraine’s highest civilian award). Bezan sponsored Senator Raynell Andreychuk’s Bill S-226, the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act ( Sergei Magnitsky Law) in the House of Commons. The Bill received Parliament’s unanimous support and was passed into law on October 18, 2017.