Event Marks Khodorkovsky's Decade of Injustice
October 24, 2013
Freedom House marked the 10th anniversary of the arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky by recognizing the jailed Russian entrepreneur and activist at a special reception in Washington D.C. on October 22.
The last 18 months has been “one of the worst periods for human rights repression” in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union, said David J. Kramer, pushing the international community to do more to respond to these abuses, including more aggressive implementation of the Sergei Magnitsky Act. Kramer highlighted several recent cases of abuse in Russia, including the unprecedented posthumous prosecution of Sergei Magnitsky, whose death in prison in 2009 spurred the U.S. to adopt the Magnitsky Act imposing a visa ban and asset freeze on Russian officials who commit human rights abuses, and Alexei Navalny, whose politically motivated conviction was in retaliation for his outspoken political activity. The event – cohosted along with the Institute for Modern Russia and the Lantos Foundation – featured speakers Katrina Lantos-Swett, Pavel Khodorkovsky – the son of Mikhail Khodorkovsky – and the Lithuanian Ambassador to the United States, Žygimantas Pavilionis.
Khodorkovsky, currently serving prison sentences after convictions in two lengthy and politically motivated trials, has become known worldwide as an outspoken advocate for individual and economic freedoms after his arrest in 2003, and subsequent prosecutions designed to silence him and intimidate other potential dissenting voices.
See photos from the event.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.