Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

British Secret Visa Bans Over Death of Russian Sergei Magnitsky

Posted by Info on 03/10/2011

At least 60 Russian officials implicated in the controversial death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky have been secretly banned from entering the UK by the British government.. He was working for Hermitage Capital Management, a British-based investment fund, when he exposed a tax fraud worth £144m, the biggest in Russian history.

After making accusations against Interior Ministry officials, he was arrested and then died in police custody after being denied medical care.
Human rights activists say that the father-of-two was tortured and badly beaten in the hours before his death in November 2009. John McCain, the former US presidential candidate, and others have called for sanctions against Russian officials implicated in Magnitsky’s death.

The move, follows the lead of the US, which introduced visa bans for individuals accused of involvement. Washington’s decision last August provoked Russia’s foreign ministry to draw up its own blacklist of banned US government officials.
Former UK foreign minister Chris Bryant had confirmed the British visa ban to him.
The Home Office said it would not comment on individual cases, but added: “We can refuse a visa when an individual’s character, conduct or associations make entry to the UK undesirable.”

A number of individuals allegedly implicated in the Magnitsky case have been routinely allowed into the UK…among them are a convicted fraudster and two senior Russian detectives against whom the lawyer had testified over their role in the fraud.


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