After reporting an alleged $230 million tax fraud perpetrated by a group of Russian government officials and senior police officers, Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer stationed in Russia for the UK‐based investment firm Hermitage Fund, was arrested and jailed on November 24, 2008. Magnitsky died following 358 days in prison under progressively worsening conditions. PHR's International Forensic Program reviewed documents relating to Magnitsky's death in order to identify key irregularities, inconsistencies or gaps in the medical investigations carried out by the Russian authorities into the cause and manner of his death.
The establishment of this investigation commission, announced Wednesday, June 29, is a response to calls from PHR and other groups to investigate attacks on protesters and health professionals following popular protests in Bahrain earlier this year.
The United States government’s reliance on indefinite detention in both national security and immigration contexts reflects an abdication of its legal and moral responsibility to treat those in its custody humanely, as well as an abdication of its responsibility to protect its military and civilians from retaliation on account of its continued refusal to honor the rule of law.
Richard Sollom, Deputy Director of PHR, testified to the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, US Congress, on Bahrain's attacks on and detention of medical professionals in the wake of protests against the government in February and March, 2011.
PHR's emergency report documents and decries systematic human rights abuses in Bahrain, and persecution of health workers based on their knowledge of those abuses.