234 Ford House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-6460
Hon. Christopher H. Smith, Chairman
Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Co-Chairman
Media Contact: Shelly Han
November 16, 2011
COMMISSION TO HOST HUMAN RIGHTS PLAY ON MAGNITSKY MURDER
Where: 121 Cannon House Office Building
When: Wednesday, Nov. 16th at 6:00 pm
WASHINGTON - Representative Chris Smith (NJ-04), Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission and Co-Chairman Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (MD) invite you to a performance of the play “One Hour Eighteen,” which is based on the final moments in the life of Russian whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky, and a briefing and discussion to follow the play.
After exposing the largest tax fraud in Russian history, Magnitsky was wrongly arrested and tortured in prison. Six months later he became seriously ill and was consistently denied medical attention despite 20 formal requests. On the night of November 16, 2009, he went into critical condition, but instead of being treated in a hospital he was put in an isolation cell, chained to a bed, and beaten by eight prison guards for one hour and eighteen minutes. Sergei Magnitsky was 37 years old and left behind a wife and two children. Those responsible for this crime have yet to be punished and his story has become a global human rights cause and is emblematic of corruption, violence, and impunity in Russia.
Please join the Helsinki Commission on the second anniversary of Magnitsky’s death for a performance of Russian playwright Elena Gremina’s celebrated theatrical interpretation of Magnitsky’s final moments. The play juxtaposes moving and chilling testimony and documents from Magnitsky's diary; a radio interview with his mother; two judges; a prison doctor and paramedic; an investigator; and a young ambulance paramedic.
One Hour Eighteen is produced by Philip Arnoult’s Center for International Theatre Development, with Russian director Yury Urnov and American actors.
The performance lasts just under an hour and will be followed by a staff briefing and discussion.