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Letter to Senator John Kerry

Hon. John KERRY
Chairman, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee
218 Russell Bldg., Second Floor
Washington D.C. 20510 May 6, 2012

Dear Senator Kerry:

On behalf of the first National Convention of the American Russian-Speaking Association for Civil & Human Rights (ARA), our supporters and allies around the country, we express our support for a speedy action by the SFRC on the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2011.

The Russian authorities perceive the delay in moving this bill through Congress as the lack of firmness on the part of the U.S. government on the issue of human rights. This is worrisome because of the growing sense of impunity on the part of the Russian authorities in dealing with Russia’s dissenters and protesters since the conclusion of Russia’s presidential elections on March 4. Russia’s authorities:

– have not taken any action in response to the massive evidence of widespread vote-rigging in the latest parliamentary and presidential elections;

– contrary to the recommendation of Russia’s Presidential Council on Civil Society Development and Human Rights, refused to grant presidential pardons to the 33 individuals identified by Russia’s human rights experts as victims of political persecution; and

– arrested and intimidated opposition activists across the country on the eve and in the course of the national protest against vote-rigging on May 6.

The passage of the Magnitsky Act through the Committee before, rather than after the upcoming Summit of the Group of Eight Industrialized Nations in Camp David, MD, is in the best interest of both the United States and the people of Russia. It will strengthen U.S. credibility among Russians and civil society worldwide by sending a strong message about the U.S. Congress’ unshakeable commitment to the fundamental principles and values on which modern democracy is built.

Sincerely,

Participants of the first National Convention
of the American Russian-Speaking Association for Civil & Human Rights (ARA)

Signed at the Convention by:

Dmitri Glinski (New York, NY)
Alexander Militarev (New York, NY)
Xenia Grubstein (Brooklyn, NY)
Alexey Semyonov (Springfield, VA)
Anna Leonti (New York, NY)
Anastasia Sorokina (New York, NY)
Olesya Sabirova (New York, NY)’
Nina Long (New York, NY)
Arthur Nazarenko (Washington, DC)
Elena Yakovleva (New York, NY)
Kristina Mayman (New York, NY),
Alexey Tokmin
Tonya Raber (New York, NY)
Vlad Burlutsky (Erie, PA)
Victoria Averbukh (Bronx, NY)
Ilya Zaslavskiy (New York, NY)
Nikolay Sergeevykh (Baltimore, MD)
Andrey Strigin (San Francisco, CA)
Tanya Nyberg (Fairfax, VA)
Larry Poltavtsev (Vienna, VA)
Yulia Shilnova (Brooklyn, NY)
Sergey Shilnov (Brooklyn, NY)
Sergey Semenov (Chicago, IL)
Dmitry Valuev (New York, NY)
Nadia Valueva (New York, NY)

Joined by:
Aleks Yakubssohn (Staten Island, NY)
Natalia Krapiva (Old Bridge, NJ)
Aleksandr Elesev (Kansas City, MO)
Yuriy Yakimenko (Princeton, NJ)
Kirill Kamynin (Brooklyn, NY)
Olga Golovanova
Alexander Vingardt (New York, NY)
Pavel Ivlev (Sparta, NJ)
Pavel Khodorkovskiy
Tatiana Yankelevich (Boston, MA)
Nadezda Shavarina (Long Island, NY)
Alexander Zvyagin (New York, NY)
Natalia Pelevine
Aleksandra Oheda (Ridgefield Park, NJ)

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