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Human Rights Defenders on the Death of Sergei Magnitsky

Source: (info), 29/11/11 
Valery Borshchev, a member of the Presidential Human Rights Council, told a press conference that Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer working for the Hermitage Capital investment fund, was beaten to death by prison officers at the Sailors’ Rest pre-trial detention centre with rubber batons.

Valery Borshchev said that he understood eight people had taken part in the beating of Sergei Magnitsky: “There were eight of them. Perhaps two or three of them did the beating, but in principle they really did beat him to death.”

“We believe the documents we have bear witness to the fact that the beating, the use of rubber truncheons, was absolutely unlawful and this must be dealt with very seriously, because Sergei Magnitsky’s death came about precisely as a result of the beating,” Valery Borshchev said.

As reports, Valery Borshchev noted that when, on the day of Sergei Magnitsky’s death, an ambulance arrived, the doctors were not allowed onto the premises for about an hour. When the doctors were finally allowed in, they established a time of death different from that of the official version put forward by the officers at the pre-trial detention centre. “They established, first of all, that Sergei Magnitsky’s time of death was not 21.50 as officially stated, but 20.45, in other words an hour earlier. And secondly, they discovered that Sergei Magnitsky was not in the intensive care ward, as Dr Gaus (the chief doctor at Sailors’ Rest – ed.) said. Sergei Magnitsky was sitting on the floor, leaning against a bed, and handcuffs lay nearby,” Valery Borshchev said.

“They saw this, they were witnesses. This is in the file, this needs to be investigated,” he empahsized. Valery Borshchev demonstrated photographs taken in the mortuary which show deep wounds to Sergei Magnitsky’s wrists made by the handcuffs. “These wounds are not simply a result of the handcuffs. This means he had struggled to get free, he had been moving,” the human rights defender believes.

On 28 November Hermitage Capital published a 100-page report, The Torture and Murder of Sergei Magnitsky and the Cover-up by the Russian Government. The report, presented to the Presidential Human Rights Council, contains documents showing that state bodies dismissed complaints made by Sergei Magnitsky over the course of the year he was held in pre-trial detention, and the subsequent concealment of these complaints and the role of government bodies in depriving him of liberty, health and life.

The report, based on official documents, court materials and public statements, includes full texts of the complaints by Sergei Magnitsky about the failure to provide him with medical assistance and the dismissal by government bodies of his complaints. Hermitage Capital say the report on the Magnitsky case has also been sent to the parliaments of the United States, Canada and the member states of the European Union.
Rights in Russia,
30 Nov 2011, 15:00