Thursday

13th May 2021

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.

News in Brief

  1. No EUobserver newsletter on Friday 14 May
  2. Germany stops Facebook gathering WhatsApp data
  3. Italy rebuts reports of EU deal with Libya
  4. MEPs demand EU states protect women's reproductive rights
  5. At least nine dead in Russia school shooting
  6. Bulgaria interim government appointed until July election
  7. German priests defy pope to bless same-sex couples
  8. New EU public prosecutor faults Slovenia

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region can and should play a leading role in Europe’s digital development
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. EU aims at 'zero pollution' in air, water and soil by 2050
  2. French police arrest Luxembourg former top spy
  3. Vaccine drives spur better-than-expected EU economic recovery
  4. Slovenia causing headaches for new EU anti-graft office
  5. 'No place to hide' in Gaza, as fighting escalates
  6. EU chases 90m AstraZeneca vaccines in fresh legal battle
  7. Fidesz MEP oversees FOI appeals on disgraced Fidesz MEP
  8. Belgium outlines summer Covid relaxation plans

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us