As the Unconditional Justice Movement, this week we focused on Crimes Against Humanity and the Global Magnitsky Law.
- Sergei Magnitsky was a tax auditor advising London-based Hermitage Capital Management, one of Russia’s largest foreign investment companies and he exposed $ 230 million tax fraud. He revealed that millions of dollars of tax payments were transferred to the personal accounts of Russian state officials. Magnitsky was arrested on tax fraud on the grounds that after this incident. In prison, he was denied access to his family and lawyers, deprived of medical assistance, and beaten and tortured by the guards. He died in prison at the age of 37 in 2009, after his 11-month detention.
- Following Magnitsky’s death, international campaigns were launched to impose sanctions on the authorities involved and others perceived to be violating fundamental human rights. The Magnitsky Act was passed by the US Congress in 2012. The law prohibited Russian officials responsible for Magnitsky death from entering the United States and making transactions in several banks and allowed the confiscation of their property. American companies risked violating US sanctions if they entered into business relationships with sanctioned persons. The law was expanded in 2016 as the Global Magnitsky Act.
- Many European countries, Canada and the European Parliament have passed laws imposing sanctions on Russian officials involved in Sergei Magnitsky’s death. Recently, several countries have expanded their sanction regime to include human rights violations from any country.
- For example, with the law passed on 6 July 2020, Britain has decided to impose sanctions on individuals and organizations who are thought to be responsible for genocide and crimes against humanity, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, slavery, extrajudicial or arbitrary executions and murders, enforced disappearance of persons and arbitrary arrests.
- First of all, with the law, 25 Russian citizens involved in the death of Sergei Magnitsky, 20 Saudi citizens involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul,
- two high-ranking Myanmar military personnel involved in systematic and brutal violence against the Rohingya people and other ethnic minorities, two organizations involved in forced labor, torture and murder in North Korea’s gulags were targeted.
- In 2018, the United States, with Reverend Brunson’s case has imposed economic sanctions on Turkey and some state officials. The basis for these sanctions was the Global Magnitsky Law.
- In recent years, in a way reminiscent of the 90s, torture, kidnapping and mistreatment news in Turkey comes up frequently. Many people died in detention and in prison. Many of these people were left to die by the authorities due to insufficient medical assistance. Ankara Bar Association prepared a report stating that five personnel from the former Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who were detained on May 28, 2019, were tortured at the Ankara Police Department.
As the Unconditional Justice Movement, we would like to state that it is inevitable to target the authorities responsible for these violations in the future with these laws, which stand out as a new mechanism against continuous and systematic human rights violations and are accepted by many countries.