Magnitsky Sanctions: What Next?
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Magnitsky Sanctions: What Next?
18th November 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
“Magnitsky Sanctions” have proven to be one of the most successful attempts to punish human rights malefactors in the history of global justice movements. Named after Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky – who uncovered a massive $230 million fraud committed by tax officials in the Russian Interior Ministry in 2007 and was jailed for his efforts and murdered in prison in 2009 – the sanctions have been introduced by various governments and institutions around the world, including the UK, US and EU. They target those responsible for human rights violations or corruption, and allow the introduction of financial and immigration penalties for those deemed to have committed these crimes. Although originally focused on those involved in persecuting Sergei Magnitsky himself, the scope of legislation has extended now to cover abusers from many different countries. The UK alone has sanctioned officials in Russia, the Chechen Republic, Xinjiang in China, Myanmar and Belarus, and former officials from the Gambia, Pakistan, Venezuela and Ukraine for human rights abuses, as well as South Africans, Sudanese and various Latin Americans for corruption.
But despite this successful rollout, there are no shortage of violators to tackle, prompting the question of “what next?” for the scope and scale of Magnitsky Sanctions.
In order to unravel the possibilities, The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to invite you to the first hybrid event of the season, featuring Petras Auštrevičius, Bill Browder, and Vladimir Kara-Murza, who will discuss the story of Magnitsky Sanctions to date and possible avenues for future investigation.
Please note you can choose to attend this event in person (with preference being given to HJS members – to join and guarantee your place please click here or via Zoom.
Mr Petras Auštrevičius is a Lithuanian politician, diplomat and a member of the European Parliament (EP) since 2014 (re-elected in 2019). He serves on the EP Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) for his second term. Mr Auštrevičius acts as a coordinator for the Renew Europe group in the EP Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE. Mr Austrevicius is a chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for relations with Afghanistan since 2014.
He is European Parliament’s standing rapporteur for Belarus (since 2019) and Eastern Partnership.
From 2001 to 2002, he was a Chief Negotiator for Lithuania’s membership to the European Union. Mr Auštrevičius is a co-founder and first chairman of the Liberals Movement of the Republic of Lithuania. He was also a President of the European Federalist movement in Lithuania.
Bill Browder was the largest foreign investor in Russia until 2005, when he was denied entry to the country and declared “a threat to national security” for exposing corruption in Russian state-owned companies. In 2008, Mr. Browder’s lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, uncovered a massive fraud committed by Russian government officials that involved the theft of US $230 million of state taxes. Sergei testified against state officials involved in this fraud and was subsequently arrested, imprisoned without trial and systematically tortured. He spent a year in prison under horrific detention conditions, was repeatedly denied medical treatment, and died in prison on November 16, 2009, leaving behind a wife and two children. Since then, Mr. Browder has sought justice outside of Russia and started a global campaign for governments around the world to impose targeted visa bans and asset freezes on human rights abusers and highly corrupt officials.
Vladimir Kara-Murza is a Russian politician, author, and historian. A longtime colleague of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, he was a candidate for the Russian Parliament and served as deputy leader of the People’s Freedom Party. Leading diplomatic efforts on behalf of the opposition, Kara-Murza played a key role in the adoption of targeted Magnitsky sanctions on Russian human rights violators in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Great Britain. U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called him “one of the most passionate and effective advocates for passage of the Magnitsky Act”; U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) described him as “a courageous advocate for the democratic process and fundamental universal human rights.” Twice, in 2015 and 2017, Kara-Murza was poisoned and left in a coma; a subsequent media investigation by Bellingcat and The Insider has identified officers of Russia’s Federal Security Service who were behind the poisonings. He is a contributing writer at the Washington Post and hosts a weekly show on Echo of Moscow radio, and has previously worked for the BBC, RTVi, Kommersant, and other media outlets. He has directed three documentary films, They Chose Freedom, Nemtsov, and My Duty to Not Stay Silent; and is the author of Reform or Revolution: The Quest for Responsible Government in the First Russian State Duma and a contributor to several volumes, including Russian Liberalism: Ideas and People, Europe Whole and Free: Vision and Reality, and Boris Nemtsov and Russian Politics: Power and Resistance. Kara-Murza led successful international efforts to commemorate Nemtsov, including with street designations in Washington and Vilnius. He was the founding chairman of the Nemtsov Foundation and served as vice president at Open Russia and the Free Russia Foundation; both organizations were designated as “undesirable” by Vladimir Putin’s government. Kara-Murza is a senior advisor at Human Rights First and a senior fellow at the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights; and has been a visiting fellow at the University of Chicago, leading a seminar course on contemporary Russia. He has been profiled on CBS 60 Minutes and NBC Nightly News, and has appeared on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and BBC Newsnight. Kara-Murza is a recipient of several awards, including the Sakharov Prize for Journalism as an Act of Conscience, the Magnitsky Human Rights Award, and the Geneva Summit Courage Award. He holds an M.A. (Cantab.) in History from Cambridge. He is married, with three children.
Senator Kimberley Kitching was born and raised in Brisbane, Queensland and graduated from The University of Queensland with law and arts degrees. Growing up, she lived and attended school in the United States of America, various European countries and the United Kingdom as her father, a Professor of Organic Chemistry, undertook visiting fellowships.
Before being sworn in as an Australian Labor Party Senator for the State of Victoria in November 2016, Kimberley practised as a solicitor, worked in several private companies in senior executive positions, was a senior adviser to the Treasurer of Victoria and the Victorian Minister for Industry, Trade, Major Projects and Information Technology, was a elected as a Melbourne City Councillor and was the General Manager of the Health Workers’ Union in Victoria.
In May 2019, Kimberley was promoted to one of the four leadership positions in the Senate for the Australian Labor Party as Deputy Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate. Kimberley also serves as Shadow Assistant Minister for Government Services and the National Disability Insurance Scheme and chairs the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee.
Kimberley is a member of several other committees including the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties and the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit.
Kimberley was one of the founding members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) and represents Australia as one of its two co-chairs. Since 2020, IPAC has grown to include hundreds of legislators from 19 jurisdictions, as well as the European Union.
Kimberley is a regular commentator in local and international media on issues of foreign affairs and human rights, and has been an early advocate and campaigner for the adoption of Magnitsky-style legislation in Australia. On 4 August 2021, Kimberley introduced a Private Senator’s Bill to the Australian Parliament to enable Magnitsky-style sanctions.
Kimberley lives in the northwest of Melbourne with her husband and dog, Nancy-Jane.
Alan Mendoza is a Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Henry Jackson Society, Britain’s leading thinktank fighting for the principles and alliances which keep societies free. He directs strategy for the organisation as well as acting as its main public face in mediums as diverse as the BBC, Sky, CNBC, Al-Jazeera. Bloomberg, LBC and TalkRadio. On the print side, Alan is a columnist for City AM, London’s business newspaper, and has contributed to The Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Sun and a host of international newspapers and magazines.
Having obtained a B.A. (Hons.) and M.Phil in history at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, Alan completed a Ph.D. at the same institution. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and was the Parliamentary Candidate for the Conservative Party in the Brent Central Constituency for the 2015 General Election. He is also a Trustee of the President Reagan Memorial Fund Trust.
On the 18th of November 2021, Dr Alan Mendoza, a Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Henry Jackson Society, interviewed Mr Petras Auštrevičius, a Lithuanian politician, diplomat and a member of the European Parliament, Bill Browder, former largest foreign investor In Russia till 2005, Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian politician, author and historian, and Senator Kimberley Kitching, senate for the Australian Labor Party as Deputy Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate discuss the history of Sergei Magnitsky and the legislation introduced in his name. Dr Alan Mendoza began by providing a brief overview of the history of Sergei Magnitsky and mentioned that legislation around the world has been brought in, in the name of Sergei Magnitsky, to punish those who are guilty of human rights abuses, and corruption. The panellists discussed the Magnitsky Act and its relevance today and further commemorated Sergei Magnitsky in their discussion. The discussion concluded with a discussion about dirty money.
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