WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert Menendez released this statement following a posthumous guilty verdict today in a Moscow court against Sergei Magnitsky for tax evasion.
"Sergei Magnitsky’s death and the circumstances around his imprisonment are shameful,” said Menendez. “Today's conviction of Sergei Magnitsky – three years after his death – is nothing short of a message to Russia’s activist community of the repercussions of opposing the state. The trend toward authoritarianism in Russia and the accompanying escalation in violations of human and civil rights is reason for grave concern.”
Sergei Magnitsky was a Russian accountant who was arrested while investigating allegations of extensive theft by Russian officials and subsequently died of medical neglect in prison in November 2009. Since his death, Magnitsky has become a symbol, for many inside and outside Russia, of the corruption of Russian state institutions and the consequences these abuses of power create. A 2012 law named for Magnitsky enables the U.S. government to place sanctions on Russians guilty of human rights violations.