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Event: The Impact Of The Magnitsky Law On The Protection Of Human Rights. Testimonies From Different Countries

The Open Dialogue Foundation (ODF) and the Italian Federation for Human Rights (FIDU) are pleased to invite you to a side-event on the application of the Magnitsky law, which will be held on Tuesday, 9 April 2019, from 13.00 to 14.00, room 14 (ground floor), at the premises of the Council of Europe, Palais. The event is hosted by PACE Members Roberto Rampi (Italy; SOC), Pieter Omtzigt (Netherlands; EPP/CD) and André Gattolin (France; NR).

The law takes its name from the Russian anti- corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died under suspicious circumstances in a Moscow prison, in 2009, after exposing a major fiscal fraud involving high ranking authorities and organised crime groups linked to the Kremlin. It is an effective legislative tool for combating impunity in those countries where torture and human rights abuses are systematic practices.

The Council of Europe has been one of the leading institutions in the promotion of the Magnitsky law: on 22 January 2019, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) voted in favour of a resolution with the title Sergei Magnitsky and beyond —  fighting impunity by targeted sanctions, thus exhorting its member States to integrate this mechanism into their legal system. Moreover, in December 2018, a proposal for the establishment of an EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime, based on the Global Magnitsky Act, was approved by the EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs and, in March 2019, by the European Parliament.

Starting from the comprehensive PACE report adopted by the Assembly, this side- event aims to present the features of this diplomatic model, its connection with human rights and its concrete application in the countries where it has already been adopted, with the aim of supporting its implementation in the area of the Council of Europe. PACE Members together with human rights defenders, Magnitsky law campaigners, NGO representatives and victims of human rights abuses fighting the feeling of impunity in non- democratic countries (e. g. Russia, Venezuela, Iran, Kazakhstan, Moldova and others) will tackle concrete questions related to the application of the personal sanctions enforcement mechanism provided by the Global Magnitsky Act. How can the Council of Europe States transpose the Magnitsky law into their national legislation? How does the Magnitsky law effectively operate in the countries where it is already in force? What is the process of evaluation, imposition and removal of targeted sanctions? Which information and data are needed to include an individual in the sanctions list? What are the benefits for victims of impunity in non- democratic countries?

The event is open to every political party and to the public (upon accreditation).

Moderator: Paola Gaffurini – advocacy officer at the Open Dialogue Foundation (ODF), international human rights NGO active in the defense of political prisoners and victims of politically motivated persecution in the post-Soviet region


Roberto Rampi – member of the Committee for Culture of the Italian Senate and of the Italian Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. On 6 March 2019, Senator Rampi submitted to the Italian Senate a draft legislation for a Magnitsky Act proposal

André Gattolin – member of the French Senate and of the French Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly to the Council of Europe

Bill Browder (by video-link) – founder and CEO of the Hermitage Capital Management and leader of the global justice campaign for the adoption of the Global Magnitsky Act

Jared Genser – US lawyer and Managerial Director of Perseus Strategies LLC, founder of Freedom Now, an independent NGO dealing with political prisoners around the world

Aliaskar Yerimbetov – son of political prisoner and Nazarbayev’s hostage, Iskander Yerimbetov, sentenced to 7 years in prison on fabricated charges. The UN concluded that Yerimbetov’s detention and arrest were arbitrary, and that criminal prosecution and trial were accompanied by gross violations

Eleonora Bekirova – daughter of political prisoner Edem Bekirov, a Crimean Tatar activist and a Ukrainian national. Bekirov was detained by Russian forces at the administrative border with Russian-occupied Crimea in December 2018, then subjected to detention on remand, ill-treatment and torture

Emin Huseynov (TBC) – Azerbaijani investigative journalist and founder of the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS)

Ana Ursachi – Moldovan attorney and human rights activist. Ursachi is also known for her opposition activities – in particular, as the founder of the public movement #NuMaTem (‘I am not afraid’). She is currently asylum seeker in Poland

Eleonora Mongelli – vice president of the Italian Federation for Human Rights – Italian Helsinki Committee

Pieter Omtzigt – member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands and of the Dutch Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly to the Council of Europe. Upon his initiative, the Dutch government is gathering support in the EU to have an EU-wide Magnitsky Law.

The speakers’ interventions will be followed by questions by parliamentarians and representatives of permanent representations and a Q&A session

Working language: English. 

A live stream of the event will be available on our Facebook page

For more information please contact:
Paola Gaffurini – advocacy officer at the Open Dialogue Foundation –[email protected]
Eleonora Mongelli – Vice President of the Italian Federation for Human Rights – [email protected]