U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement after the Russian government congratulated officials responsible for lawyer Sergei Magnitsky's unjust arrest, detention and death in custody. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"The Russian government's act of congratulating officials responsible for the unjust arrest and subsequent death of Sergei Magnitsky shows the true face and extent of corruption among Russian government officials, even to the highest levels. Magnitsky was a Russian lawyer who was murdered during his investigation of corruption and embezzlement which implicated dozens of state officials and his sad case is a troubling reminder of the true nature of Putin's legacy. The fact that these officials are being congratulated further illustrates the Russian government's contempt for human rights and the rule of law.
"The U.S. must continue to support democratic progress and seek justice for those who have suffered so ruthlessly because they dared to challenge the systemic abuse and corruption within the ruling system in Russia. Congress must continue to pass laws similar to last year's "Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law and Accountability Act,' which imposed sanctions on those responsible for the harassment, abuse and death of Sergei Magnitsky and the many others who have been silenced by the state apparatchik."
NOTE: Two weeks ago in Washington, DC, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was honored to meet with Magnitsky's wife, son, and mother who pleaded with Ros-Lehtinen to lobby the Obama administration to include many more Russian violators of human rights, as mandated by U.S. law, and Ileana agreed to do so.