Why Europe Needs a Magnitsky Law: Should the EU follow the US?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Kraft Center (606 West 115th Street, between Broadway and Riverside)
Please join the Harriman Institute for a panel discussion with Elena Servattaz, editor of Why Europe Needs a Magnitsky Law: Should the EU follow the US? and Radio France Internationale staff correspondent and anchor, and William Browder, CEO of Hermitage, current head of the global campaign for justice for Sergei Magnitisky and his former employer.  The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Alexander Cooley, Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department at Barnard College.
 
This month marks the 4th anniversary since the death of Russian lawyer and whistleblower, Sergei Magnitsky. He was killed in pre-trial detention for uncovering and exposing the largest tax fraud in Russian history - the theft of $230 million dollars of taxes. The crimes were committed by Russian government officials working together with organized crime. In December 2012, President Obama signed into law the Magnitsky Act which saw visa bans, asset freezes and the public naming of the Russian officials involved. The law also includes provisions to ban entry to the US of any other gross violators of human rights. 

The concept of a Magnitsky law is now gathering steam in Europe, where the EU is under pressure to take substantive action and follow the lead of the USA. A new book by French/Russian journalist Elena Servettaz, entitled Why Europe Needs a Magnitsky Law: Should the EU follow the US?, has just been published to highlight the support for such an initiative.
 
Elena Servettaz is a Russian-French journalist and a current staff correspondent and anchor at Radio France Internationale (RFI) as well as the Paris-based correspondent for the independent radio station Echo of Moscow. At RFI she mainly covers international relations and Russian politics with an emphasis on the Russian opposition movement and high-profile legal cases such as those involving the Magnitsky affair, Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Pussy Riot.  In 2012-2013, Servettaz co-launched and was deputy editor of a new magazine in France, Russian Riviera. Servettaz’s first book, published in 2013, is entitled Why Europe Needs a Magnitsky Law.
 
William Browder, founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, was the largest foreign investor in Russia until 2005, when he was denied entry to the country as a result of his battle against corporate corruption. Since 2009 when his lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, died in a Russian prison after uncovering a US$230 million fraud committed by Russian government officials, Browder has been leading a global campaign to expose the corruption and human rights abuses endemic in Russia. Consequentially, the ‘Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act’ was signed into US law in 2012, imposing visa bans and asset freezes on certain officials involved in Magnitsky’s death, and on other gross violators of human rights in Russia. Browder is currently working to have similar legislation passed across the European Union as a means to seek justice for Magnitsky and fight government- backed corruption in Russia.  Before founding Hermitage, Browder was Vice-President at Salomon Brothers. He holds a BA (Honours) in Economics from the University of Chicago and an MBA from Stanford Business School.
 
Alexander Cooley is professor and chair of the Political Science Department at Barnard College, Columbia University and Deputy Director for Social Science Programming at Columbia University's Harriman Institute. Professor Cooley's research examines how external actors have shaped the political development, regime survival and sovereignty of the post-Communist states, with a focus on post-Soviet Central Asia and the Caucasus. He is the author of four academic books, a media commentator on Central Asian political trends, and serves on a number of international advisory committees and working groups that engage with Eurasian political issues.
 
Registration for this event is required.  Click here to register.