"Norway should provide effective support to corruption fighters"
– Corruption fighters are being attacked and even killed while the criminal continue their international business. This has to end, says Bjørn Engesland in the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.
The Magnitsky Hearing at November 22 will challenge Norwegian and European politicians to step up their support to activists who fight for human rights and expose corrupt officials.
– Corrupt money is flooding Western countries and offshore tax havens, as documented by the Panama and the Paradise Papers. Our inaction helps the criminals, says the Secretary General Bjørn Engesland.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee will host the unique, international hearing at the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo. Leading activists and journalists in Europe will discuss the main challenges for human rights and anti-corruption activism.
– In authoritarian states, activists are subjected to gross violations of human rights. Corrupt officials – who fear that their crimes will be exposed – are able to arrest, torture, disappear and even kill those who stand in their way with impunity, says Engesland.
The US, Canada, the UK, and Estonia have adopted legislation which sanctions officials and others who attack human rights defenders and whistle-blowers or engage in large scale corruption. The sanctions impose visa ban and freeze the assets of persons or entities responsible for such crimes and who are not been punished. Lithuania is likely to be the next state to adopt such measures.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is urging Norway and other states to follow suit and implement similar tools.
- Step up the fight against corruption and attacks on whistle-blowers. Address the real issues on the ground by going after the criminals wherever they are, says Engesland.
At the Hearing, the case for establishing Global Magnitsky sanctions will be made by world leading human rights defenders and journalists.
Bill Browder, Head of the Justice for Sergei Magnitsky Campaign
Valery Borschev, Chairman of the Moscow City Public Oversight Commission, member of the Moscow Helsinki Committee
Hugh Williamson, Director Europe and Central Asia Division, Human Rights Watch
Ilya Zaslavskiy, Research Expert, Free Russia Foundation (FRF) and Academy Associate, Chatham House
Olesya Shmagun, Investigative Journalist, Novaya Gazeta and Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP)
Pavel Chikov, Head, Agora human rights group and Rafto Prize Laureate
Sacha Kouleva, Head of the Eastern Europe-Central Asia Desk, International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH)
Elena Servettaz, Open Russia
Petter Wille, Director, Norwegian National Human Rights Institution
For more information and interviews, contact Øystein Solvang, Head of communications, email: firstname.lastname@example.org; mobile: +47 46660428