The McCain Legacy and the Magnitsky Act
- This event has passed.
The McCain Legacy and the Magnitsky Act
15th November 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
The United States’ adoption of the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 marked a watershed in America’s, and the West’s, relations with Russia. The Act allowed the US to freeze the assets and withhold the visas of people who are violating human rights globally. Similar legislation has since been adopted in the UK, Canada, and the Baltic states.
The US Magnitsky Act would not have happened without John McCain. He was the first Senator to support Bill Browder’s efforts to hold the killers of Magnitsky to account. And he, along with Benjamin Cardin, introduced the legislation. McCain also later supported the introduction of Global Magnitsky Act of 2016, which broadens the scope of the legislation so that it applies globally.
By kind invitation of Ian Austin MP, the Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you for a discussion about John McCain’s legacy and the Magnitsky Act.
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.
Meghan McCain is the daughter of the late Senator John McCain and is co-host of ABC’s Emmy Award-winning daytime talk show, “The View”. Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, McCain graduated from Columbia University and completed internships at Newsweek and “Saturday Night Live” before joining her father’s 2008 presidential campaign. She soon joined The Daily Beast as a columnist and MSNBC as a contributor. A New York Times bestselling author, McCain has written and published three books, including “Dirty Sexy Politics: A True Story” which was inspired by her time on the campaign trail during her father’s presidential run.
Vladimir Kara-Murza is vice chairman of the Open Russia movement and chairman of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom. Kara-Murza is a former deputy leader of the People’s Freedom Party and was a candidate for the Russian State Duma. He has testified before parliaments in Europe and North America and played a key role in the passage of Magnitsky Laws that imposed targeted sanctions on Russian human rights violators in the U.S., Canada, and several EU countries. Kara-Murza is a contributing writer to the Washington Post and has previously worked as a journalist for Russian broadcast and print media, including RTVi, Ekho Moskvy, Kommersant, and The New Times. Kara-Murza is a recipient of the Magnitsky Human Rights Award, the Sakharov Prize for Journalism as an Act of Conscience, the Geneva Summit Courage Award, the Train Foundation’s Civil Courage Prize, and the Oxi Courage Award.
Kyle Parker is Chief of Staff of the U.S. Helsinki Commission. Prior to his appointment as Chief of Staff to the Commission, Kyle served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and, from 2006 to 2014, as Policy Advisor for Eurasia at the Commission. Before entering government, Kyle spent eight years at the American Foreign Policy Council. Kyle’s work on the Magnitsky Act is featured in a New York Times bestseller, and his expertise on Russia has been quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, CNN, Fox News, NPR, and foreign media outlets. Kyle is a graduate of the University of Maine and speaks fluent Russian.
The Henry Jackson Society was honoured to host Bill Browder, Meghan McCain, Vladimir Kara-Murza, and Kyle Parker in the Houses of Parliament by kind invitation of Ian Austin MP. On the occasion of the 9th anniversary of Sergei Magnitsky’s death at the hand of corrupt Russian government officials, the panel discussed the laws to punish those involved the murder and the involvement of the late Senator John McCain in realising them.
Mr Browder started the discussion by recalling how he sought justice for Sergei Magnisky’s death. After this campaign had no success in Russian courts, he looked to ways to punish the perpetrators by freezing their assets stored in Western countries and introducing travel bans. He then took this matter to Senators McCain and Cardin, who worked together in drafting the Magnitsky Act. Although the act passed with an overwhelming majority in the US House of Representatives, Mr Browder recalls opposition to legislation within the West that wanted to remove Magnitsky’s name from the legislation. The act was finally passed in 2012 and Mr Browder now campaigns in European countries for the adoption of similar rules.
Ms McCain recounted her father’s commitment to oppose Putin’s dictatorship and how he frequently talked about Sergei Magnitsky and Boris Nemtsov. She warned against Putin’s attempts to subvert Western democratic states and vows to continue her father’s fight for freedom and democracy. Mr Kara-Murza then expressed his gratitude to the Members of Parliament that helped a Magnitsky Act pass in the United Kingdom. He recalled that at the beginning of the campaign, they were told that there was little hope for success in passing such a legislation, but he also recounted the support he received from Senator McCain in this campaign. Mr Kara-Murza will continue fight to pass Magnitsky legislations not only in Europe, but also in Asian democracies.
Mr Parker then stressed that the Magnitsky Act is not an anti-Russia legislation, as unlike other laws it targets individuals rather than the Russian Federation as a whole. According to Mr Parker, the Magnitsky Act is born out of a respect for the Russian people and their struggle for freedom and democracy. He also recalled the abuse oppositionist Boris Nemtsov suffered prior to his assassination. Mr Parker also pointed to the successful passing of a global Magnitsky authority which is applicable all over the world and the US administration has worked on implementing.
After taking questions from the audience, the panellists reaffirmed their commitment to seek justice for Sergei Magnitsky. The Henry Jackson Society would like to thank all of the panellists for sharing their experiences with the public.
It is important to discuss what drives social and economic exclusion among British Muslim women. Levels of female unemployment continue … Continued
How is the US Government tackling anti-Semitism? With growing concern over Islamist extremism, Far-Left anti-Zionism and the rise of Neo-Nazi … Continued
The UK has suffered at the hands of far-right terrorism in recent times. This includes the killing of Labour MP … Continued
Everyone knows that populism in the US and UK today is rooted not only in resentment toward elites but also … Continued
According to Elif Shafak, culture and literature matters. It becomes especially relevant in the age of populism, pessimism and political … Continued
The unfolding crisis in Venezuela represents a major challenge not only for the country’s citizens, but also for the international community. … Continued
As we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the events culminating in the Tiananmen Square Massacre of June 4th 1989, it is important to note … Continued
As the strategic environment changes, planning for state-on-state military confrontation has re-emerged. Non-state actors – perhaps assisted by revisionist powers … Continued
The BJP had an impressive victory in the 2019 General Election, emerging as the single largest party garnering more vote … Continued
In the twenty-five years after 1989, the world enjoyed the deepest peace in history. In The Rise and Fall of … Continued
In recent times, national populism has been on the march in much of the Western world. 2016 was a year … Continued
Twenty years after NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia, the Western Balkans countries are beset by economic, political, and social uncertainty. The … Continued
In light of the publication of the Modernising Defence Programme in December 2018, which recognised the emergence of a more … Continued
The relationship between Russia and the West is once again deep in crisis. A major reason for this is that … Continued
The special relationship is under strain. President Donald Trump’s unorthodox approach to foreign policy together and the uncertainty caused by … Continued
On March 29, the United Nations adopted Security Council Resolution 2367 on sexual violence in conflict. Questions have been raised, … Continued
In late 2013, the People’s Republic of China began building and fortifying islands across a number of reefs in the … Continued
The Wealth Effect: How the Great Expectations of the Middle Class Have Changed the Politics of Banking Crises
The rising wealth of middle class households and voters has transformed the politics of banking crises. At this event, Jeffrey … Continued
In the state elections in December 2018, the big loser was the BJP, which had won 62 of 65 Lok … Continued
Belarus has received increased international attention over recent years, much of which has focused on Russia’s ambitions towards the country. … Continued
With returning IS fighters and uncertainty over Brexit, concerns surrounding human rights, civil liberties and national security have never been … Continued
Putin’s Hostages: Ukrainian Political Prisoners of the Kremlin is a documentary about the roughly 70 Ukrainians political prisoners incarcerated … Continued
In the eyes of many, the prospect of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict is diminishing. With peace talks … Continued
Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s 29th Prime Minister, on ‘Preserving the Freedom of the Asia Pacific’
The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to host Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, Former Australian Prime Minister, for a special event chaired … Continued
Five years ago next month, Russia annexed Crimea in the first forcible annexation of the territory of a European country … Continued
Western liberalism is under attack, not only at home also but from newly-emboldened authoritarian states abroad. Across the West, states … Continued
Deep new rifts are tearing apart the fabric of Britain and other Western societies: thriving cities versus the provinces, the … Continued
Though mankind has traded tangible goods for millennia, recent technology has changed the fundamentals of trade, in both legitimate and … Continued
China’s Belt and Road strategy is acknowledged to be the most ambitious geopolitical initiative of the age. Covering almost seventy countries by land … Continued
Why Middle Eastern Jewish Refugees Are Key to Understanding and Resolving the Israel-Palestine Conflict
Jews lived continuously in the Middle East and North Africa for almost 3,000 years. But in just 50 years, indigenous communities … Continued
India and Turkey were the two exemplars of twentieth-century ‘secular states’ outside of the West. Professor Sumantra Bose believes that … Continued
The political events of recent years have sent shockwaves throughout the established order of Western liberal democracies. Election after election … Continued
Prof. Andrew Lambert’s new book, Seapower States examines how Britain and four other seapowers used their special identities to inform … Continued
Dave Rich’s updated edition of The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Antisemitism (2018) contends that antisemitism is a … Continued
Moneyland is the secret country of the wealthy and unscrupulous, the place where they put their assets, their children and … Continued
The Afghanistan War has now lasted for 17 years, and estimates suggest has cost the US government upwards of $750 … Continued
The Middle East remains one of the most tumultuous regions in the world today, with its many ethnic and religious … Continued
The past 18 months have seen an immense amount of economic, diplomatic, and even military activity relating to the Korean … Continued
As one of al-Qaeda's most respected bomb-makers, Aimen Dean rubbed shoulders with the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and swore … Continued
The most dangerous threat we face today is no longer military, but rather the increasingly pervasive exposure of our personal … Continued
SPEAKER: Professor Carl Minzner, author, End of an Era China’s reform era is ending. Core factors that characterised its political stability, … Continued
SPEAKERS: His Excellency Renato Carlos Sersale di Cerisano - The Argentine Ambassador to the United Kingdom; Dr. Shimon Samuels - … Continued
SPEAKERS: Dr Michael Green - Author of By More Than Providence and Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair … Continued
In the midst of some great changes in the international system, countries have been left with the qaundry of how … Continued
SPEAKER: Eliot Higgins, Founder of Bellingcat The destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July 2014 shocked the … Continued
SPEAKERS: Humphrey Hawksley, author of Asian Waters: The Struggle Over the Asia-Pacific and the Strategy of Chinese Expansion ; Bill Hayton, Associate Fellow … Continued
PROFESSOR NIGEL BIGGAR, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology, Oxford University, in conversation with Douglas Murray The nation-state is … Continued
SPEAKER: EHUD OLMERT, former Prime Minister of Israel It’s been 10 years since the last meaningful peace deal was put … Continued
Whatever one’s feelings toward the outcome of the 2016 US elections, there can be no doubting the historic impact and … Continued
As Britain considers its relationship with Europe, European security has never been more precarious, with Russian revanchism on the rise … Continued
As the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, geopolitics is returning to the European continent. Germany and France are squabbling … Continued