The European Court ruled on Tuesday that the Russian government violated several articles in the European Convention on Human Rights over the course of its 11-month pre-trial detention and posthumous criminal conviction of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian tax auditor and government corruption whistleblower. Magnitsky was found dead on the floor of his small jail cell in northeastern Moscow ten years ago.
In the summer of 2008, Magnitsky spoke out about a scheme carried out by several government officials to fraudulently reclaim US$230 million in taxes. Within a year, he had been detained, tortured, and, according to the court, stripped of his “right to life,” among other violations.
The ruling comes years after Magnitsky’s plight inspired international outrage over the erosion of the rule of law in Russia and several so-named “Magnitsky Acts” in countries around the world, from the United States to Estonia, which authorizes governments to sanction specific individuals identified as human rights abusers.
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