Staunton, March 20 – The Congress of Peoples of Udmurtia has called for the creation of republic-level Magnitsky-type list to prevent those in the Russian government who have violated its rights from entering that Middle Volga republic, an intriguing declaration that is unlikely to be adopted there but may prompt non-Russian groups elsewhere to demand the same thing.
Twelve days ago, the Congress of Peoples of Udmurtia came out in support of what many call “the Magnitsky List” compiled by Washington and including Russian officials involved in Magnitsky’s death and more generally in the violation of the human rights of people in the Russian Federation (udmcongress.blogspot.ru/2013/03/blog-post_8.html).
Similar actionshave been taken or promised by other countries, and the Congress says such “restrictions are undoubtedly necessary. It is an effective measure” and one that Udmurtia should support and extend by coming up with its own list of Russian officials who have violated the rights of Udmurt residents and thus should not be allowed to enter the republic.
The Udmurt Congress said there was only one problem with the American initiative: It keeps the list of officials involved secret. “Why secret?” it asks, given that publicity of the names of those on it will help bring the attention of the world to the actions and individuals involved in such crimes.
On Friday, an independent Udmurt news service reported, the plans of the Udmurts began to attract more attention. Rustam Garayev, an Udmurt activist, sent an email to Boris Nemtsov, who expressed interest in the creation of “regional lists of [officials] who violated the rights and freedoms of man and citizen” (nfudm.ru/hnews.html?hnews=50&offset=0).
The “Udmurt Magnitsky List” will include, Garayev said, the names “of employees of the ‘force’ structures who committed violations of the law in relation to those under official arrest.” The news service said that “work on the composition of the ‘Udmurt Magnitsky List’ have already begun and asked those with information to send it to the news service.
The Congress of Peoples of Udmurtia unites Udmurt and Tatar activists living in that Middle Volga Republic. It is a public group, and its proposal about an Udmurt Magnitsky Act is unlikely to be adopted by the Udmurt government, which has often ignored proposals from the Congress in the past.
But it is nonetheless striking that people in one republic of the Russian Federation have come out so strongly for the US Magnitsky Act and have viewed it as a model for themselves. It is thus not unlikely that democratic activists elsewhere in the Russian Federation will do the same, however opposed the Kremlin may be.