Heather Blake is a member of the Conservative Human Rights Commission.
Two years after the false arrest, torture while in police custody and death of tax lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, the United Nations is launching a formal investigation after a 100 page report was submitted by Redress, a leading UK NGO on torture. UN Special Rapporteurs on Torture, Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions and the Independence of Judges and Lawyers will be carrying out formal investigations on the case.
Mr Magnitsky was a tax lawyer working for Hermitage Capital, a British company based in Russia at the time. Magnitsky came under threat when revealing substantial tax fraud committed by Russian authorities against the British company. After numerous death threats made to Hermitage founder William Browder, and his team of lawyers, the company was forced to flee Russia and move back to the UK for safety; Magnitisky, however, remained in Russia. On the 24 November 2008 Magnitsky was arrested and placed in one of the most inhumane circumstances while in custody, where he was not allowed bail, denied any legal remedies, systematically tortured, denied medical care and died in 2009.
Hermitage Capital has made it a moral responsibility to bring to justice the inexcusable death of Magnitsky, not just in the name of the family who have lost a husband and father, but in the name of all those who suffer under the same injustices and go unnamed and unnoticed.