Chaired by Chris Bryant MP
Opening remarks by Bill Browder, CEO of Hermitage Capital Management and leader of the global campaign for justice for Sergei Magnitsky
Prime Minister of Russia, 2000-2004
Leading Russian opposition figure
The Honourable Irwin Cotler
Member of the Canadian Parliament
Chairman of the Justice for Sergei Magnitsky Inter-Parliamentary Group
Leader of the Khimki protest movement
Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina
Members of the punk protest group Pussy Riot
Member of the European Parliament, 2009-2014
Campaigner for a European Magnitsky law
Foreign correspondent for Radio France International
Author of Why Europe Needs a Magnitsky Law
Concluding remarks by Dr. Andrew Foxall, Director of the Russia Studies Centre at The Henry Jackson Society
TIME: 6.30 – 8pm, Tuesday 18th November 2014
VENUE: Portcullis House, House of Commons, London SW1A 2LW
To register your interest in attending this event, please send an email with your full name and affiliation to firstname.lastname@example.org and allow at least 48 hours for processing your request
Vladimir Putin has directly or indirectly ruled Russia since New Year’s Day 2000. And, after 14 years in power, there are few signs that he will abdicate his position anytime soon. As things stand, Putin’s domestic popularity is at an all-time high. Whatever Putin’s imperial folly in Ukraine has been driven by, events in Eastern Europe have fundamentally changed the way Russia is ruled – Putin is more authoritarian than ever.
No tyranny, however, lasts forever, and Putin’s power is not what it once was: The social contract he built with the Russian people in his earlier years – he could do whatever he liked, as long as life improved for many of them – is broken. High rates of economic growth are long gone, and so too is the increasing standard of living that they provided. Russians are becoming restless and, although the opposition movement as a whole is cowed and quiet, opposition candidates have performed well in recent mayoral elections.
By kind invitation of Chris Bryant MP, The Russia Studies Centre at The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to a panel discussion to mark the fifth anniversary of the death of the lawyer-turned-whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky. The speakers will assess the current state of affairs in Russian politics, the campaigns for passing Magnitsky laws in Europe and North America, and the prospects for Russia without Putin.
Bill Browder is the CEO of Hermitage Capital. He leads the global campaign for justice for Sergei Magnitsky, who was working for Hermitage Capital when taken into custody and murdered. He will speak about the campaign and how five years later, the Russian government still spends considerable time pursuing Sergei Magnitsky himself (posthumously), and those seeking justice for Sergei’s death.
Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina are members of the punk protest group Pussy Riot. They will be speaking about the show trial for hooliganism that they were subjected to in 2012, and about their experiences of spending time in prison in Russia. They will also discuss why President Putin has killed off all forms of public protest and demonstrations in Russia.
Mikhail Kasyanov served as the Prime Minister of Russia from May 2000 to February 2004, and as Minister of Finance from 1999 to 2000, under President Putin’s leadership. He now leads a political party in opposition to the Putin regime and is an outspoken critic of Putin’s economic policies.
Irwin Cotler is a Member of the Canadian Parliament and former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. He has also served as a lawyer for Nelson Mandela and Nathan Sharansky. He is considered to be one of the leading human rights lawyers in the world and serves as Chairman of the Justice for Sergei Magnitsky Inter-Parliamentary Group.
Evgenia Chirikova leads the Khimki protest movement. She campaigned against President Medvedev’s plans to demolish the Khimki forest in order to build a highway and was subsequently beaten and imprisoned along with her fellow protesters. In 2009, Evgenia ran for the office of mayor of Moscow and came third, scoring a major victory for the opposition movement.
Kristiina Ojuland is a former MEP, and served as the Foreign Minister of Estonia from 2002 to 2005. She is one of the leading campaigners for a European Magnitsky law. A staunch critic of Putin’s foreign policy, Kristiina is currently launching her own political party in Estonia. She will be speaking about NATO, the Baltics and the relationship with Russia.
Elena Servettaz is a Franco-Russo journalist. She covers foreign news for Radio France International, with a special focus on the Russian opposition. In 2013, Elena published her first book, Why Europe Needs a Magnitsky Law, which is a collection of essays in support of the adoption of EU visa sanctions against Russian human rights abusers. She will be speaking about the state of freedom of speech and media in Russia.
Dr. Andrew Foxall is Director of the Russia Studies Centre at The Henry Jackson Society. He has given briefings to the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and testified to the House of Lords.
About the Russia Studies Centre
The Russia Studies Centre is a research and advocacy unit operating within The Henry Jackson Society dedicated to analysing contemporary political developments and promoting human rights and political liberty in the Russian Federation. The Centre is headed by Dr Andrew Foxall.