WASHINGTON —U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the author of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability law, issued the following statement upon the two-year anniversary of the assassination of former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov in Moscow.
“Two years ago, Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was killed in cold blood, just steps from the Kremlin. He was the definition of courage in defending the most fundamental rights of citizens in his beloved Russia, and I continue to grieve the loss of this steadfast partner, whom I had the honor of hosting in Washington numerous times. The anniversary of his death is a reminder to redouble our efforts to stand against impunity and in support of all individuals in Russia to be able to freely exercise their rights without fear. As a trial of five suspects in his case proceeds, I call on the Government of Russia to bring to justice in fair proceedings all those who organized and implemented this assassination.
“The bravery shown by Nemtsov and many other opposition and human rights activists in Russia in the face of violent threats is an inspiration to us all. In this regard, I am pleased to hear that opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza, who fell gravely ill last month under suspicious circumstances and already survived a reported poisoning in 2015, has improved considerably. Vladimir testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last summer, and I look forward to further engagement with him and others in Russian civil society to support their important efforts to promote transparency, accountability, and the democratic rule of law in their country.”