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PRESS RELEASE: Russian-American Voters Address Congressional Candidates In An Online Campaign In Support of Magnitsky Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

РУССКИЙ ПЕРЕВОД СМ.НИЖЕ

Press Contact: Helen Abramova, Phone: 703-473-0299, E-mail: HelenA@amrusrights.org

New York City / Washington, DC / Chicago, IL / Columbus, OH / Kansas City, MO / Greenville, SC / Atlanta, GA / Los Angeles, CA / Seattle, WA
(Wednesday, October 31, 2012)

RUSSIAN-AMERICAN VOTERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY ADDRESS MEMBERS OF CONGRESS RUNNING FOR REELECTION TO CONVEY THEIR STRONG SUPPORT FOR THE MAGNITSKY ACT

American Russian-Speaking Association for Civil & Human Rights with its friends and allies mark the Day of Political Prisoners with online campaign in a dozen of states 

October 30 is observed by many Russians around the world as the Day of Political Prisoners. It was introduced in 1974 in Soviet labor camps by human rights advocate and author Kronid Lyubarsky and a hero of the Soviet Jewry struggle for the right to emigrate Alexey Murzhenko. In 1991, Russian parliament officially recognized it as the national Day of Remembrance of Victims of Political Repressions.

20 years later, Russia is losing, at an ever increasing speed, the last vestiges of its democratic accomplishments of the early 1990s, for which Soviet-era human rights defenders paid a heavy price. According to The Memorial Society, Russia’s most authoritative source of human rights information and research, there are currently about 80 people in jail or under prosecution for political reasons, even if official charges against some of them are of a different nature.

This situation has a negative impact on some of Russia’s neighbors, emboldening their own governments that are also increasingly persecuting their opponents. It also increases pressure for emigration from Russia, a country which is currently the 7th largest source of asylum seekers in the world. Over the past two years, the number of Russians granted asylum in the United States grew by 35 percent.

In light of this, a number of Russian-speaking community organizations have coalesced in support of the Magnitsky Act (named after Russian anti-corruption whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky who perished in 2009 in Moscow jail at the age of 37). This legislation would impose visa and financial sanctions on Russian government officials (and, in the Senate version, their counterparts in other countries) responsible for the arrest and the death of Magnitsky or for other gross violations of human rights. This bill was introduced in Congress last year by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) and recently included in the legislation that would grant Russia permanent normal trade relations with the US with the removal of the Jackson-Vanick Amendment of 1974. It currently has 40 supporters in the Senate (including 22 Republicans, 17 Democrats, and one Independent) and 82 in the House (including 42 Democrats and 40 Republicans).

On October 30, Russia’s leading human rights organizations rallied in support of the political prisoners of our time. In solidarity with them, our supporters and friends – Russian-speaking voters around the country – are reaching out to Members of U.S. Congress – co-sponsors of the Magnitsky Act who are running for re-election on November 6. We are conveying our support for the speediest passage of the Act on their campaign websites and Facebook pages and by tweeting to them on behalf of Russian-speaking voters who share our opinion. We urge Russian-speaking Americans and all our friends to go to the polls on November 6 and vote with this information in mind. (In addition, we also support the Former Soviet Union State Pension Fairness Act, introduced by Rep. Nadler, that requires US government to report on its pursuit of pension payments for former Soviet workers currently in the US who have been denied their pensions by post-Soviet governments.)

Our online campaign is conducted in eleven states including those with the largest population of Russian-American voters – New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Florida, California, Washington, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri. Georgia, and South Carolina. The campaign was postponed for a day due to the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy.

For additional information or to get involved, please contact us at headquarters@amrusrights.org, connect with us on our Facebook page or join our groupIf you vote in the U.S. elections, we invite you to join or support this campaign which will go on until November 3.
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ПРЕСС-РЕЛИЗ

Пресс-секретарь Helen Abramova, тел.: 703-473-0299, E-mail: HelenA@amrusrights.org

Нью-Йорк – Вашингтон – Чикаго – Коламбус – Канзас-Сити – Гринвиль – Атланта – Лос-Анджелес – Сиэтл

(31 октября 2012)

СЕГОДНЯ РУССКОЯЗЫЧНЫЕ ИЗБИРАТЕЛИ В 11 ШТАТАХ НАПРАВИЛИ ОБРАЩЕНИЯ ПОДДЕРЖКИ КОНГРЕССМЕНАМ, КОТОРЫЕ ПОДПИСАЛИСЬ ПОД ЗАКОНОПРОЕКТОМ ИМЕНИ СЕРГЕЯ МАГНИЦКОГО И ИЗБИРАЮТСЯ НА НОВЫЙ СРОК

Этой онлайн-кампанией Американская русскоязычная правозащитная ассоциация и ее союзники в диаспоре отмечают День политзаключенных в России

Как известно, законопроект предусматривает запрет на выдачу въездных виз в США и арест банковских счетов для лиц, причастных к аресту и гибели российского юриста и антикоррупционера Сергея Магницкого (1972-2009), а также других чиновников, допустивших грубые нарушения прав человека. Законопроект был внесен в прошлом году в Сенат представителем Мэриленда Бенджамином Кардином, а в нижнюю палату – конгрессменом от Массачусетса Джеймсом Макговерном (оба принадлежат к Демократической партии). В настоящее время его официально поддерживают 40 из 100 сенаторов (22 республиканца, 17 демократов и один беспартийный) и 82 из 435 конгрессменов (42 демократа и 40 республиканцев). Он прошел несколько слушаний в комитетах и включен в сенатский законопроект об отмене поправки Джексона-Вэника и предоставления России статуса наибольшего благоприятствования в торговле. В сенатском варианте проекта санкции предусмотрены не только для российских нарушителей прав человека, но и для виновников подобных нарушений в любом государстве мира.

Сегодня сторонники АРПА и ее союзники отмечают День политзаключенного (День жертв политических репрессий) в России онлайновой кампанией обращений к конгрессменам, поддержавшим законопроект и баллотирующимся на новый срок, через их вебсайты, фейсбук-страницы и твиттеры. В своих обращениях русскоязычные избиратели благодарят конгрессменов за поддержку законопроекта и заявляют о своем намерении голосовать за тех, кто обеспечит его скорейшее прохождение в Конгрессе. Тем самым мы выражаем нашу солидарность с движением за перемены и жертвами политических репрессий в современной России (как и в ряде других государств бывшего СССР).

В кампании участвуют избиратели в одиннадцати штатах – Нью-Йорке, Нью-Джерси, Калифорнии, Вашингтоне, Миссури, Иллинойсе, Огайо, Мэриленде, Южной Каролине, Джорджии и Флориде. Кампания была отсрочена на один день в связи с разрушительными последствиями урагана. Она продлится до 3 ноября. Если Вы голосуете на выборах в Соединенных Штатах, приглашаем Вас поучаствовать в кампании или поддержать ее материально.

About AMERICAN RUSSIAN-SPEAKING ASSOCIATION FOR CIVIL & HUMAN RIGHTS

American Russian-Speaking Association for Civil & Human Rights, Inc. (ARA) was formed this spring on the crest of the wave of solidarity rallies with Russia’s movement for change that were held in New York, Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, and Kansas City. ARA held its first national convention on May 6 at the Hispanic Federation in New York. We work in close cooperation with other civic organizations, including Institute of Modern Russia, Spectrum Human Rights Alliance, Fair Vote for Russia, and others, as well as Russie-Libertes in France and International Movement ‘Speak Up!’ in the United Kingdom. At this time, ARA is an all-volunteer organization.

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