torsdag, juli 12, 2012

Artikel: Cohn-Bendit och jag om Magnitskij (Liberation)

Tillsammans med en grupp parlamentariska kolleger skriver jag i den franska dagstidningen Liberation om fallet Magnitskij, till stöd för sanktionslagstiftning mot de ansvariga ryssarna.
En av kollegerna är Daniel Cohn-Bendit, f d studentrevolutionär som  numera är grön, i alla fall utanpå. Det kunde man inte ha trott 1968!

Här i engelsk version:

Sergei Magnitsky. His name probably means nothing to you. However, the mere mention of it is enough to send Vladimir Putin into a fit of rage. In the same way he ignored the “insignificant” work of Anna Politkovskaja, a Russian human rights advocate who was also assassinated, the Russian president hopes for nothing more than for the Magnitsky case to disappear. To say Sergei Magnitsky’s name in Russia today can itself be considered treason.

The tragic story of Sergei Magnitsky has, to the chagrin of the Russian government, cast a bright light on the abuses of power regularly committed by the government and its accomplices. A tax lawyer who defended the interests of American investors based in Russia, Magnistky paid with his life for trying to expose a vast fraud scheme he uncovered while doing his job. To the detriment of his clients and to the Russian people, the scheme embezzled 230 million dollars from public tax funds, with active compliance from tax agents and the police. Charged with leading the criminal investigations were the very agents accused of the crime; they proceeded to imprison those who had attempted to expose them, namely, Magnitsky. Despite the wealth and promotions they accumulated from this crime, these agents continue to prosecute Magnitsky’s mother and widow. Magnitsky himself died on November 16, 2009, at the hands of his guards, after spending months in prison where he was repeatedly subjected to mistreatment.

The truth behind Magnitsky’s ordeal, and of the actions that he condemned, has been confirmed beyond the slightest suspicion. Since his death, friends of Magnitsky have amassed irrefutable documentation that attest to the truth of the matter; an independent Russian commission that denounces mistreatment in prisons described Magnitsky’s treatment as “torture.” Those responsible for this tragedy, despite suffering no consequences for their criminal actions, continue to press fabricated charges against Magnitsky in what will be a posthumous trial.

We know well that our governments will not be happy to broach this subject with Vladimir Putin, particularly when the fate of Syria is in his hands. However, as members of national and European parliaments, we take our mission to defend public and individual liberties, both in our states and beyond our borders, seriously. Our role as legislators provides for the political support, if not the protection of, citizens and democracies worldwide, even when executive powers are hindered from doing so. It is our duty to determine the best approach to pressure authoritarian regimes when traditional structures of international law prove incapable. With regards to Russia, a state whose criminal justice and prison systems permit abuses, and that continues to suppress democratic opposition, we think it our duty to challenge our civil societies, our diplomats, and our fellow parliament members to bring this debate to our assemblies.

Certain parliaments in the world have already seized upon this subject. In the United States, Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom and in the European Parliament propositions for resolutions - even for laws - have been introduced in order to increase pressure on those responsible for this crime and their bosses. Some resolutions have already been adopted. We propose that the senates and assemblies that have not yet embraced this matter do so, looking to existing resolutions for inspiration. The goal would be to prevent anyone implicated in this crime from entering into our territories, and to freeze any assets that they might have here and thus that appear suspect, until a credible and independent process can take place. The American administration, under pressure from Congress, has indicated that it has taken these steps. Switzerland as well. The United Kingdom, France, and Italy - where members of the Russian elite prefer to vacation and buy their luxury homes - and other members of the European Union could follow suit.

By hitting the accomplices of these regimes in their wallets or by depriving them of their luxury villas - the only values that matter to them - our Parliaments will send a clear signal that we must hold accountable their leaders as we do ours. We would just be doing our job.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit Députe européen EE-LV, André Gattolin Sénateur (France), Denis McShane Députe travailliste et ancien ministre des Affaires européennes (Royaume-Uni), Matteo Mecacci Députe radical (Italie), Mats Johansson Députe modéré (Suède)