Wednesday

8th Feb 2023

European rights body to debate Magnitsky report

  • Paris skyline: Russian MPs have pledged to water down the resolution (Photo: Moyan Brenn)

The Council of Europe, the Strasbourg-based human rights watchdog, will on Wednesday (4 September) in Paris debate a damning resolution on the Magnitsky affair, with Russian delegates pledging to attack the text.

The resolution, drafted by Swiss centre-left MP Andrea Gross in June, accuses Russian authorities of orchestrating the death in pre-trial detention, of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian auditor, who exposed a mafia-related scam to embezzle the Russian taxman.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"There is no doubt that some of the causes of Mr Magnitsky's death were created deliberately, by identifiable persons," his report says.

It calls for the council's 47 member states to impose "intelligent sanctions" on Russian officials implicated in his death.

It also urges Moscow to help Europol and financial sleuths from six EU states to investigate the money laundering trail linked to the scam.

Russian MPs on the legal affairs and human rights committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe have indicated they will try to water down the text before it is officially adopted, however.

Alexei Pushkov, an MP from Russian President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party told the Russian parliament, the Duma, on 25 June: "We will try to influence its content. The first page of the resolution announces Magnitsky as a fighter against corruption which he never was."

He added that the cause of Magnitsky's death "has not been determined."

A second United Russia Russian MP in the council, Alexander Sidyakin, in June also told Russian media that Gross' report is "biased."

He compared Magnitsky's to the late Serbian dictator, Slobodan Milosevic, who died in a cell in the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague in 2006.

"To examine the death of the particular person in detention … is a banal topic. Milosevic also died in detention, because help was not provided to him," he told Gazeta.ru.

EUobserver investigative reports

"The Magnitsky Affair" is the latest in a series of EUobserver investigative reports. It looks at what the EU is really willing to do to confront Russian human rights abuses on its doorstep.

Opinion

Wales' message to Europe: 'We'll be back'

The scars of Brexit have left their mark in communities across Wales. The Menai mussel industry has experienced a sharp decline having once been a staple in fish counters and restaurants across Europe; its business model wrecked by post-Brexit rules.

Column

Why Europe's interminable compromises are a virtue

All member states complain about European compromises, each for their own reasons. Nevertheless, these decisions tend to be robust precisely because there is enough in them for everybody. And nobody wants to start negotiating all over again for another deal.

Latest News

  1. Polish MEP also went on freelance Azerbaijan trip
  2. Why Europe's interminable compromises are a virtue
  3. Wales' message to Europe: 'We'll be back'
  4. MEPs to vote on risky 'hydrogen for home heating' rule
  5. The man who won't stop filing info requests until every EU doc is public
  6. EU hands Libya coast guard boats ahead of migration summit
  7. Eleven suicides daily — Spain's not-so-silent pandemic
  8. The return of Lula means now is the time for EU-Mercosur deal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWWEU Social Dialogue review – publication of the European Commission package and joint statement of ETUFs
  2. Oxfam InternationalPan Africa Program Progress Report 2022 - Post Covid and Beyond
  3. WWFWWF Living Planet Report
  4. EFBWWEFBWW Executive Committee report on major abuses, labour crime and subcontracting
  5. European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights (EPF)Launch of the EPF Contraception Policy Atlas Europe 2023. 8th February. Register now.
  6. Europan Patent OfficeHydrogen patents for a clean energy future: A global trend analysis of innovation along hydrogen value chains

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us