The Oslo Magnitsky Hearing | Den norske Helsingforskomité

The Oslo Magnitsky Hearing

The Oslo Magnitsky Hearing

A unique international hearing in Oslo November 22 will discuss human rights challenges in corrupt authoritarian states.

Sergei Magnitsky died in a Moscow prison cell after investigating fraud involving Russian tax officials. His death sparked international outrage and led to punitive actions from the US and other countries in the form of targeted sanctions and investigations of money laundering.


The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is hosting the Oslo Magnitsky Hearing as a part of its 40 year anniversary. The hearing intends to present the Magnitsky case in order to highlight the situation for other whistle-blowers in authoritarian states. Corrupt officials, who fear that their crimes will be exposed, are able to arrest, torture and even kill those who stand in their way.

On 16 November 2009 the bruised body of Sergei Magnitsky was found on the floor of a prison cell. The 37-year-old accountant and lawyer had been detained for nearly a year over accusations of tax evasion. His real crime was exposing a $230 million theft from the Russian treasury by officials linked to a criminal gang.

Presenting evidence

The first part of the hearing presents evidence on the Magnitsky case. The hearing will also present similar cases from Central Asia and Azerbaijan and discuss how democratic states should deal with these issues. Key questions are: How can the states protect human rights defenders and whistle-blowers? How do Magnitsky sanctions work? How can Norway establish such sanctions?

Background: “The story that did not go away”

Sign up before 15 November by email to

The Oslo Magnitsky Hearing
Photo: Nobel Peace Centre

Venue: Nobel Peace Centre, Brynjulf Bulls Plass 1 (Rådhusplassen), Oslo

Time: 22 November 2017, 08:30-19:00. 

Speakers include:

  • 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
  • Andrei Nekrasov, Film Director
  • 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

Find the full program here

The Oslo Magnitsky Hearing is free of charge to attend and is open to all who has signed up by 15 November. 

The Russian Teatr.doc performs a play about the Magnitsky case, “One hour and 18 minutes”.

For more information, contact Øystein Solvang, head of communications at

Support the Norwegian Helsinki Committee’s work for human rights defenders at risk!


The Magnitsky Dossier

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee has prepared “The Magnitsky Dossier: A collection of documents for the 22 November 2017 Oslo Magnitsky Hearing”.

The dossier contains documents that explain the Magnitsky case and give reasons for democratic states to establish Global Magnitsky Sanctions. It also includes links to reports, interviews and other material relevant for the case.