We greet everyone, especially Bill Browder, John Lought, Ivan Chercasov and his entire team. Regrettably we can not be present with you but we send our warmest wishes.
We thank Bill Browder and every single person who is fighting for real human rights, for democracy and for the dignity of the human being. the tragedy that happened to Sergei Magnitsky reminds us of how far the corrupt regime of Putin has come, torturing and killing the innocents, the fighters for truth and the patriots of Russia.
This cruelty has no limits. Kremlin has also made our family to go through a nightmare, persecuting the whole family including our children: Anastasia who was 24 years old at the time and Vladimir who was only 3 years old; this persecution has followed us to another side of the world – Guatemala. Russian government has successfully corrupted the International Commission Against Impunity and the judicial body of this country in such a way that they have handed down absurd sentences of 19 and 14 years of imprisonment for supposed document’s violations, documents which were issued by the governmental institutions of the same country. As if this wouldn’t be enough, Putin’s representative on Childhood and Adolescence – Pavel Astakhov has put our son – Vladimir into an orphanage. During all of this persecution, my husband has spent 3,5 years in prison, my daughter and me have spent one year under arrest in a hospital room and 5 months in prison as well. All of this has happened to innocent people.
What does it mean?
First of all it means that now if you don’t agree with Putin’s regime, it targets the whole family, including children. This already makes me think of Gulag of the Soviet Union, this is a very serious issue for everyone because we are talking about a total dictatorship that does not respect anything or anyone.
Secondly, it means that Putin’s regime is corrupting not just Russia, but also other countries and international organizations. It is an enormous threat to the world and to the human rights globally.
What can a single family do in a face of such a tragedy?
Honestly, we wouldn’t stand a chance of survival without the support of Bill Browder and his team, without the support of our brave lawyers Rolando Alvarado and Victoria Sandoval, our family could end up like Sergei Magnitsky – tortured and murdered, all four of us. It was Rolando Alvarado who was bravely and tirelessly fighting for our little son, he was his guardian and tutor as well as our lawyer.
Thanks to initiative and hard work of Bill Browder the death of Sergei Magnitsky was not in vain, the creation of the Global Act Sergei Magnitsky has also saved our family from Putin’s dictatorship. Bill and his team have saved our lives quite literally.
We congratulate our brave and outstandingly professional lawyers Rolando Alvarado and Victoria Sandoval for receiving this great honor! And are happy to be able to congratulate them in this way – they have more than deserved it!
Many thanks from our family and we will all keep fighting together!
— Irina Bitkova (@Irina_Bitkova) 15 de noviembre de 2018
In the #MagnitskyAwards @Billbrowder Bravely remember the time when received the letter from the Russian woman @Irina_Bitkova who has been in #Guatemala and she told him a horrible story what is worth paying close attention to Irina… pic.twitter.com/fZikNnLZfF
— Irina Bitkova (@Irina_Bitkova) 16 de noviembre de 2018