Tag Archive for Torture

Shadowy Specter Of Russia Hangs Over Rumored ‘Death Squads’ In Ukraine

Maidan Square file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org –  laire Bigg and Daisy Sindelar – February 4, 2014) After being kidnapped on January 22, Dmytro Bulatov says he was kept blindfolded for eight days as his abductors beat him, sliced off part of his ear, drove nails through his hands, and finally left him for dead in a forest. Through

Interfax: Putin calls for showing respect for all periods of national history

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

MOSCOW. Dec 19 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin is opposed to the attempts to agitate or split society over attitude to monuments to certain historical figures. “We should respect every period in our history, and it is better not to agitate or blow our minds with certain premature actions that may split our society,”

Lawmakers From 21 Countries Form Magnitsky Group

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 13, 2013) Lawmakers from 21 countries have formed a commission to promote sanctions against Russian officials implicated in the prison death of whistle-blowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in 2009. The Justice for Sergei Magnitsky commission, which was holding its inaugural meeting at the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday, includes

Where Beria’s Limo Still Runs But Isn’t Seen – Moscow at Halloween

File Photo of Partial FSB Headquarters Building Facade

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 31, 2013) Muscovites interested in ghosts don’t need to go to Transylvania. They can find plenty right at home this Halloween, even if many in the Russian Orthodox Church and Russian government denounce this holiday as alien and “extremist” (globalsib.com/18692/ and religiopolis.org/publications/6936-hellouin-2013.html). In an article on

Victims of Soviet Repressions Remembered

File Photo of Prison in Russia with Wall, Barbed Wire, Guard Tower

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 31, 2013) Events were held around the country Wednesday to commemorate the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions, which is devoted to those affected by political persecution in the Soviet Union. Hundreds of people held a rally in central St. Petersburg near the Solovetsky Stone, a

RIA Novosti: Russian Authorities Dismiss Punk Rocker’s Jail Abuse Claim

File Photo of Pussy Riot Members in Courtroom Enclosure, With Man Showing Papers to One While Female Guard Looks On

MOSCOW, October 24 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian investigators will not open a criminal case into allegations by jailed feminist punk rocker Nadezhda Tolokonnikova that a prison official threatened to kill her, a spokesperson for the Investigative Committee said Thursday. “A decision has been taken not to open a criminal case because no crime was committed,”

Prisoners of the psyche: Forced psychiatry in today’s Russia

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – October 16, 2013) A court last week ordered activist Mikhail Kosenko to undergo compulsory psychiatric treatment for attacking a riot police officer during the May 6, 2012 protest rally on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s inauguration. The ruling sparked concerns among rights activists that Soviet-era punitive psychiatry,

Hermitage’s Browder Wins Dismissal of Russian’s Libel Case

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Jeremy Hodges – October 14, 2013) Hermitage Capital Management founder William Browder won the dismissal of a U.K. libel case filed by a former Russian policeman accused of playing a part in the 2009 death of legal and tax adviser Sergei Magnitsky. Judge Peregrine Simon ruled that the U.K. wasn’t the

The Revolution Of The Nerds

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RFE/RL – Brian Whitmore – October 10, 2013) The fact that a Moscow court found Mikhail Kosenko guilty of assaulting a police officer despite video evidence to the contrary didn’t exactly come as a surprise. In recent years, Russian courts have convicted Mikhail Khodorkovsky of stealing oil from himself and Aleksei Navalny of embezzling money

Top Clinic Denies Return to Soviet-Era Punitive Psychiatry

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – October 10, 2013) Russia’s top psychiatric institution held an open house Wednesday in an attempt to popularize its work, amid speculation about a revival of Soviet-style punitive psychiatry following the sentencing of an opposition protester to mandatory mental treatment. The Serbsky Center of Social and Judicial Psychiatry

The Gulag within: Harsh realities of Russian penal colonies

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – October 1, 2013) For 22-year-old Lena Ivanova, work at a penal colony sewing military uniforms began at 8:30 a.m. and could last well into the night. “There were situations when there was a big [production] order, and the warden would call everyone outside [into the square] rain

Pussy Riot and Prison Reform

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RIA Novosti – Natalia Antonova, Acting Editor-in-Chief of The Moscow News – September 23, 2013) This week, Lenta.ru published a letter from Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who is serving a two-year sentence in a penal colony for having participated in a “punk prayer” in Russia’s main cathedral back in the winter of 2012. Tolokonnikova is

Could U.S. Assets Seizure Lead To Expansion Of Magnitsky Blacklist?

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Richard Solash – WASHINGTON, September 18, 2013)  As shady Russian businessmen snapped up luxury apartments in New York, lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was confined to the few square meters of a Moscow jail cell. He would die there under suspicious circumstances in 2009 after revealing a scheme by a circle of high-ranking

RIA Novosti: Activists Who Reported ‘Putin’s Palace’ Jailed for Extortion

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 5, 2013) ­ Four environmental activists in southern Russia have been given lengthy jail terms for extorting money from a real estate developer, though they denied the accusations, Russian media reported. Four employees of the Gelendzhik Human Rights Center in the Krasnodar Region were given jail terms of between eight

Interfax: Moscow urges Washington not to extend Magnitsky List

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 12, 2013) The Russian Foreign Ministry has urged Washington to stow plans for an extended Magnitsky List and warned it would react sternly, given the rights abuses the United States is committing globally. “We urged the U.S. administration to demonstrate wisdom and not to take steps that would spoil the atmosphere

Rights commissioner denounces Magnitsky’s postmortem conviction

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 11, 2013) Russian Human Rights Commissioner Vladimir Lukin has denounced the postmortem conviction of late Hermitage Capital auditor Sergei Magnitsky by Moscow’s Tverskoi Court. “I object to trying people post mortem. There is an element of some ancient pagan mentality in this,” Lukin told Interfax on Thursday. “Then let’s arrange the

Hermitage Capital blasts Magnitsky’s posthumous conviction

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 11, 2013) British investment fund Hermitage Capital has attacked Thursday’s posthumous conviction of its lawyer Sergei Magnitsky and in absentia conviction of its chief executive William Browder. “This trial reflects the authorities’ disrespect for fundamental international legal values and personal rights and freedoms,” Hermitage said in a statement made available to

Human right activist supports British ban on Russians on Magnitsky List

File Photo of British Parliament Building Including Saint Stephen's Tower Containing Big Ben

(Interfax – July 9, 2013) Russian veteran human rights defender, Moscow Helsinki Group (MHG) head Lyudmila Alexeyeva has supported the British ban on 60 Russians on the Magnitsky List from entering the UK. “Certainly, I would like people involved in the Magnitsky case to be punished here, in Russia. That would have displayed our wish

Moscow Prosecutors to Look into NGO Eviction

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 27, 2013) Moscow prosecutors have launched a probe into Saturday’s eviction of a Russian human rights organization from its office, a Moscow deputy prosecutor said on Wednesday. “The city’s prosecutor instructed to probe actions by Moscow Mayor’s office officials and by police officers,” Moscow First Deputy Prosecutor Alexander Kozlov said,

Magnitsky List ensnares Moscow, Obama and Congress

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Russia Beyond the Headlines/RIA Novosti – rbth.ru – Fyodor Lukyanov – April 24, 2013) Fyodor Lukyanov, the chairman of the Presidium of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy, explains why the Magnitsky Act will have long-term consequences on U.S.-Russia relations. Conflicts associated with the Magnitsky Act are not going away any time soon. Congress

Magnitsky’s Mother: ‘The List Is About People Who Must Answer For Their Actions’

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – April 19, 2013) The mother and widow of whistle-blowing Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky were in Washington on April 17, just days after the White House issued a blacklist of more than a dozen Russian officials implicated in Magnitsky’s prosecution and death in jail in 2009. RFE/RL’s Richard Solash spoke to Magnitsky’s

Interview: ‘Magnitsky List Is Anti-Rights Violators, Not Anti-Russia’

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – April 18, 2013) U.S. Representative James McGovern was one of the leading sponsors of legislation that mandated sanctions against Russians implicated in the prosecution and death of whistle-blowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat, spoke to RFE/RL’s Richard Solash on the sidelines of a Washington reception held on April 17

Closed part of Russia’s response to Magnitsky List longer than open – source

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Interfax -MOSCOW. April 16, 2013) The closed part of the list of U.S. citizens prohibited to visit Russia is longer than the open part, a source at the Russian Foreign Ministry told Interfax on Tuesday. “Concerning the Russian list, its closed part carries more names than the open one,” he said. The source said he

Blacklists Hang Over Future of U.S.-Russia Ties

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

(RIA Novosti – Carl Schreck – WASHINGTON, April 15, 2013) ­ The United States and Russia struck a conciliatory chord Monday following tit-for-tat blacklists of alleged human rights violators, but the contentious US legislation that sparked the diplomatic dust-up appears set to become a permanent fixture in ties between Washington and Moscow. “There is no

Battle of Lists ‘Caricature’ of the Cold War, Lukyanov Says

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 14, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/04/window-on-eurasia-battle-of-lists.html) The publication of the Magnitsky List and the Russian response have prompted widespread speculation not only about the secret and supposedly much larger and possibly expandable lists attached to each but about the meaning of this exchange for the future of Russian-American

Most officials on U.S.’ Magnitsky list no longer serving in previous capacity

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Interfax – MOSCOW. April 12, 2013) Most of the Russian officials added on Friday to the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control’s Specially Designated Nationals List (OFAC’s SDN list) under the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 are no longer working in the positions they occupied when an

Lavrov: Magnitsky act ‘Russophobia’ product

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Interfax – MOSCOW, April 11, 2013) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has branded the U.S. Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act as a manifestation of “the Russophobia that is traditionally present” in U.S. Congress. One of the architects of the Magnitsky act was Hermitage Capital investment fund chief executive William Browder, who “illegally hoarded

Documentary Series Shows ‘Hairs and Wrinkles’ of Opposition Leaders

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – April 8, 2013) Anti-Kremlin leader Alexei Navalny walks methodically past a crowd of protesters standing behind metal barricades on Bolotnaya Ploshchad, heading for a stage. Two baby-faced police officers step out of his way, blank expressions on their faces. “We’re with you,” a man in sunglasses says

Trial of Dead Lawyer Magnitsky Begins in Moscow

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

MOSCOW, March 22 (RIA Novosti) – The unprecedented posthumous trial of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky for tax evasion began on Friday as investigators denied he was arrested for uncovering major corruption by state officials. This is believed to be the first time a dead person has been prosecuted in either Russian or Soviet history. Magnistky,

Investigators Close Case Into Magnitsky’s Death

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova and Ezekiel Pfeifer – March 20, 2013) Investigators said Tuesday that they had closed the case into the 2009 death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, whose name is attached to a U.S. law that has caused tension in U.S.-Russian relations by seeking to punish Russians implicated in human rights

Authorities Trying to ‘Break’ Putin Foe Razvozzhayev – Lawyer

Leonid Razvozzhayev file photo with hand to ear, as if holding cellphone

MOSCOW, January 24 (Marc Bennetts, RIA Novosti) ­ Prison officials in East Siberia are attempting to force a protest movement figure, charged with seeking to violently overthrow President Vladimir Putin, to implicate himself and others in the alleged plot, his lawyer told RIA Novosti on Thursday. Leonid Razvozzhayev, a leftist activist, was transferred from Moscow

Russian diplomat sees possible ‘political risks’ in OECD entry talks


(Interfax – January 2, 2013) Moscow does not rule out negotiations on Russia’s entry to the OECD may be accompanied by “political risks” linked to the case of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergey Magnitskiy’s death, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s economic cooperation department Aleksandr Gorban said, as reported by Interfax on 2 January. “These

Magnitsky Play at Teatr.doc Hits Harder Than Ever

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman – December 28, 2012) Some things remain relevant longer than you would expect. Take the death of Sergei Magnitsky. This muck-raking attorney was allowed to die in a Moscow prison in November 2009. That story was still making news when Teatr.doc opened a show called “One Hour Eighteen”

Moscow hopes to get rid of thorns in Russia-U.S. relations despite the Magnitsky Act

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Interfax – December 26, 2012) Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov hopes that the damage done by the Magnitsky Act to Russian-U.S. relations will not be irreparable. “Hopefully, we will turn this page, the damage done to our relations will not be irreparable, and we will be able to make further progress. Although, certainly, this

Acquittal Nears for Magnitsky Suspect

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – December 26, 2012) A prosecutor on Monday requested that the only remaining defendant in whistle-blowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky’s death be acquitted of criminal negligence. The United States recently passed a law to impose international sanctions on Russians it believes were involved in the 2009 death, but Russia

NEWSLINK: Details of U.S. bill on Russia trade, human rights

U.S. Capitol at Twilight With Washington Monument, National Mall, Washington, D.C., Environs and Sunset in Background

[Factbox: Details of U.S. bill on Russia trade, human rights – Reuters – Dec. 13, 2012 – http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/12/13/uk-usa-russia-trade-idUKBRE8BC18120121213] Reuters sets out bullet points recent U.S. legislation consider trade and Russian human rights, developed in response to Russia’s August 22, 2012, accession to the WTO. Regarding trade, the legislation repeals the Jackson-Vanik amendment and looks to

NEWSLINK: U.S.-Russia ties take a hit: As the Jackson-Vanik amendment is finally repealed, the controversial Magnitsky act provokes similar legislation from Russia and may hamper U.S.-Russia relations.

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

[U.S.-Russia ties take a hit: As the Jackson-Vanik amendment is finally repealed, the controversial Magnitsky act provokes similar legislation from Russia and may hamper U.S.-Russia relations. – Russia Beyond the Headlines – Alexander Gasyuk – Alexander Gasyuk is Rossiyskaya Gazeta’s Washington D.C. Bureau chief  – Dec. 14, 2012 – http://rbth.ru/articles/2012/12/14/once_again_us-russia_ties_take_a_hit_21107.html] Russia Behind the Headlnies covers

Putin Calls for ‘Adequate’ Response to Magnitsky Act

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

MOSCOW, December 13 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian President Vladimir Putin blasted a US bill targeting alleged Russian human rights violators as an “unfriendly act,” but said Russia’s response should be “adequate and not excessive.” “We certainly have to have an appropriate response. The State Duma has taken the initiative, which in my opinion is absolutely

Fear and loathing in Dagestan

Map of Dagestan, Georgia and Environs

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – Dec. 10, 2012) Doctor Marat Gunashev didn’t even have time to change his slippers when masked law enforcement officials led him out of the surgery room on the morning of Nov. 28 and placed a bag over his head. The patient he was administering anesthesia to was

Russia may retaliate against Magnitsky Act with Dima Yakovlev Law

Duma Session file photo

(Interfax – Dec. 11, 2012) The United Russia faction at the State Duma has proposed to name the bill retaliating against the Magnitsky Act after 18-months-old Dima Yakovlev who died after his adoptive American father left him in a locked car in a parking lot for nine hours on a hot day. “They named their

Duma Deputies Strike Back Over Magnitsky Act

Russian Duma Building

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – Dec. 11, 2012) In a widely expected response to the passage of the U.S. Magnitsky Act, State Duma deputies on Monday introduced a bill that would make Americans suspected of mistreating Russians personae non gratae. The bill bans Americans from traveling or investing in Russia if they

EU Under Pressure to Draft Magnitsky List

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – Dec. 10, 2012) Buoyed by the U.S. Senate’s endorsement of the Magnitsky Act, Russian opposition leaders and some European lawmakers are calling on the European Union to adopt similar legislation that punishes presumed human rights offenders. Mikhail Kasyanov, Vladimir Ryzhkov and Boris Nemtsov, the chairmen of

Magnitsky Bill Likely to Reopen Old Wounds

U.S. Capitol at Twilight With Washington Monument, National Mall, Washington, D.C., Environs and Sunset in Background

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – Dec. 10, 2012) Historical mistrust and relatively weak trade links could amplify the Magnitsky Act’s damage to U.S.-Russian relations, although Washington will likely use caution in applying sanctions to Russians suspected of human rights violations, analysts said. “In the absence of a solid background of trust and

39% of Russians Approve of Magnitsky Act – Poll

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

MOSCOW, December 8 (RIA Novosti) ­ More than twice the number of Russians approve of recent US legislation imposing sanctions on Russian officials deemed to have violated human rights than disapprove, according to a nationwide poll released this week by the respected Levada Center. The center found that 39 percent of Russians fully or mostly

Magnitsky Act Sparks Russian Fury

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Roland Oliphant – Dec. 7, 2012) Russia will impose a visa ban on U.S. citizens accused of human rights abuses in response to the “absurd” trade and human rights bill passed by the U.S. Senate on Thursday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “We will also close entry to Americans who

NEWSLINK: US Senate to consider Magnitsky Act

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

[US Senate to consider Magnitsky Act – ITAR-TASS – RUSSIAN PRESS REVIEW – Dec. 5, 2012 – http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c142/589715.html] Itar-Tass covers Senate action on a bill replacing the Jackson-Vanik amendment with the Magnitsky Act. Click here for the full article: http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c142/589715.html

Russia Riot Prison Dubbed ‘Hell’ by Kremlin Rights Council

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

MOSCOW, December 6 (Marc Bennetts, RIA Novosti) ­ A prison in Russia’s Urals region where inmates rioted last month against alleged abuse and extortion was compared to a “concentration camp” on Thursday by a member of the Kremlin’s human rights council. “We saw a splendid park and a beautiful church, marble ­ but behind the

Magnitsky, the Accidental Symbol of Global Injustice

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – Dec. 3, 2012) Magnitsky’s life reveals a man who was in many ways ordinary and felt compelled to fight a state machine he had trusted his whole career. When a childhood friend said he was thinking of not returning to Russia after a concert tour abroad in

NEWSLINK: The Magnitsky Bill

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

(The Magnitsky Bill: The Sources of America’s Obsession with Russia – US-Russia.org – featuring Vlad Sobell, Ron Paul, Edward Lozansky, Willism Dunkerley, Alexander Rahr, Alexandre Strokanov, Nicolai Petro,  Mark Nuckols, Patrick Armstrong, and Sergei Roy – Nov. 28, 2012 – click here for full article) US-Russia.org features remarks in Congress by Cong. Ron Paul, as

Bringing out the dead: Why Sergei Magnitsky’s story remains relevant for the arts

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova – Nov. 26, 2012) Let’s get one thing out of the way first ­ I am married to one of the actors starring in “One hour and eighteen minutes,” a documentary play about the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. And I am not here to talk to you

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