What is the Magnitsky Act

The Magnitsky Act (also the Magnitsky Act, English Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act) is a law passed in December 2012 in the United States that introduces personal sanctions against persons responsible for violations of human rights and the rule of law. Named after Sergei Magnitsky, who died in prison, for whose death these persons are accused.

S. L. Magnitsky was Head of Tax and Audit at Firestone Duncan. In the summer of 2007, the Russian branch of Hermitage Capital was suspected of tax evasion and Magnitsky was arrested. On November 16, 2009, after 11 months of pre-trial detention, he died in the remand prison hospital. The death certificate, signed on November 16 by doctors at the Matrosskaya Tishina hospital, says that Magnitsky died of toxic shock and acute heart failure. The column "diagnosis" indicates acute pancreatitis and closed craniocerebral trauma. Further investigation showed that Magnitsky's death was preceded by his escort to a separate cell by 8 escorts to diagnose "psychological inadequacy" due to his periodic complaints about poor conditions of detention, lack of medical care and threat to life (about 100 complaints in total). The arriving ambulance team did not state death immediately.

On June 7, 2012, the international organization Physicians for Human Rights announced that the investigation is destroying samples of Magnitsky's organs in order to hide the traces of the crime and deliberately shielding the people involved in his death.

In 2011, the US State Department announced that 60 Russian officials had already been banned from entering the country, in his opinion, involved or suspected of involvement in the death of Magnitsky. In September 2012, it became known that the UK had already put into effect the "Magnitsky list". The introduction within the countries of the sanctions provided for by the Magnitsky law was proposed by the deputies of the two countries of the European Union.

The list contains 60 names of officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the FSB, the Federal Tax Service, the Arbitration Court, the General Prosecutor's Office and the Federal Penitentiary Service, along with a brief description of the role of each of these individuals in the Hermitage Capital case. Part of the "list ..." may remain unpublished: names must be made public within 120 days, but according to an amendment to the law adopted by Congress, the US Secretary of State has the right not to disclose individual persons on the list "in the interests of US national security."

On December 14, 2012, the "Magnitsky Act" was signed by US President Barack Obama. The law imposes sanctions on any Russian citizens allegedly involved in the death of Sergei Magnitsky: visa restrictions on entering the United States and sanctions on their financial assets in US banks.

On April 12, 2013, the US Treasury Department officially published the personal composition of the list, which included 18 people.