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house Bill H. Res. 156

Should Congress Call for Accountability for Boris Nemtsov’s Assassination?

Argument in favor

The assassination of Russian opposition leader and Putin critic Boris Nemtsov in 2015 has not been properly investigated. The sham trial that ended in 2017 didn’t reveal who ordered the assassination. A new investigation is needed to ensure justice for Nemtsov and his family.

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03/12/2019
When the Executive branch fails in its foreign relations functions, Congress should hold it accountable and act as the voice of the American people.
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Kelley's Opinion
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03/12/2019
We cannot turn a blind eye on Putin’s or the Saudi’s blatant murders of people. To do so would empower them to do more of the same. Next, a resolution to condemn Saudi prince for murder of Jasoggi. Ignoring these types of actions by world leaders is not an option.
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Sandra's Opinion
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03/12/2019
Would it GO anywhere?....Probably not, but it would show that we are not buying what they are shoveling.
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Argument opposed

A 2017 trial already concluded that five Chechen men were responsible for planning and carrying out Nemtsov’s assassination. There’s no need for further investigation — this matter is closed. Additionally, reopening this issue would strain an already tense U.S.-Russia relationship.

Steven's Opinion
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03/12/2019
This is a waste of time that will result in absolutely nothing. How about we spend our time and resources on calling for accountability from our own elected leaders?
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SneakyPete's Opinion
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03/12/2019
No way is a Nemtsov’s Assassination Investigation Needed it appears that this is nothing more than a Democratic attempt to slander President Trump and the USA 🇺🇸 reputation. A 2017 trial already concluded that five Chechen men were responsible for planning and carrying out Nemtsov’s assassination. There’s no need for further investigation — this matter is closed. Additionally, reopening this issue would strain an already tense U.S.-Russia relationship. SneakyPete......... 👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻. 3*12*19........
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Cherie65's Opinion
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03/12/2019
Like Russia really cares what we think. Waste of time. The House acts like hyperactive children and are all over the board. FOCUS! America! Remember us?
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simple resolution Progress


  • The house Passed March 12th, 2019
    Roll Call Vote 416 Yea / 1 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedFebruary 27th, 2019

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What is House Bill H. Res. 156?

This resolution would call for accountability and justice for the assassination of Boris Nemtsov, a Russian opposition leader and Putin critic who was assassinated in Moscow in February 2015. It would condemn Nemtsov’s assassination and call on the Trump administration to sanction those responsible. It would also call for an international investigation to bring the assassination’s perpetrators to justice.

As a simple resolution, this legislation is non-binding and wouldn’t advance beyond the House if passed.

Impact

Russia; Boris Nemtsov; Trump administration; international community.

Cost of House Bill H. Res. 156

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced this resolution on the fourth anniversary of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov’s assassination. This resolution would condemn Nemtsov’s assassination, call on the Trump Administration to sanction the responsible parties, and call for an international investigation to bring the assassination’s perpetrators to justice:

“Boris Nemtsov had a vision for a democratic and free Russia. Sadly, that put him right in Putin’s crosshairs. Now he joins a long list of brave journalists, human rights activists, and political opponents murdered by Putin’s henchmen in their quest to silence all criticism of the Kremlin and stamp out any perceived threat to Putin’s authoritarian regime. [This] resolution sends a bipartisan, bicameral message to the Russian government—the United States Congress demands justice for Boris Nemtsov. We will continue fighting for a proper investigation into the murder, and we will push the Trump Administration to enact strong sanctions on those responsible.”

In opening remarks at the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s full committee markup of this resolution, Rep. Engel added that he personally met — and was impressed by — Nemtsov not long before his assassination:

“This resolution condemns the Kremlin’s systematic targeting of its political opponents and it calls on the Administration to implement Magnitsky Act sanctions on those responsible for Nemtsov’s murder and coverup. It also requires the Administration to deliver to Congress a thorough report on Nemtsov’s assassination. That’s a critical part of this legislation. Because sadly, the Administration hasn’t done nearly enough to give us much reason to stand up to Russia and call out Putin’s thuggery. So, it’s up to Congress to assert American leadership on this issue… I want to just personally tell you, I have on my desk in my office a picture of me, shaking hands with Boris Nemtsov...it is...shocking. When we moved offices, I saw that picture, I had forgotten about it. He came and visited me and told me he was the opponent of Putin, and that he was for free, independent elections, and for a free Russia. I was very, very impressed with him, and thought, “Wow, this man is really special.” Apparently, unfortunately, Putin thought so too, and had him killed right in Moscow. But…I remember him telling me about how he felt how important his work was, and I told him that I thought he was really working not for just the people in Russia, but for people all over the world. So I want to just mention that because Boris Nemtsov, it was quite an honor for me to meet him and of course, just a few months later he was murdered. So it’s just...startling."

Rep. Michael McCaul (D-TX), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and an original cosponsor of this resolution, adds:

"History has shown us that tyrants and dictators will take extreme measures to silence political opposition for the purposes of clinging to power. And the assassination of Boris Nemtsov outside the Kremlin four years ago was a shocking example of how far Vladimir Putin will go to stifle dissent and strike fear within his own people. The United States strongly condemns the targeting of political opponents and any attempted cover up by the authoritarian regime in Moscow. Our bipartisan resolution introduced in the House today makes clear that Boris Nemtsov’s unwavering support for freedom and democracy for the people of Russia will never be forgotten. We will stand by their side until justice is served."

This resolution passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee with the support of 15 bipartisan cosponsors, including eight Democrats and seven Republicans.

Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), who are members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have introduced a companion resolution in the Senate. That resolution has five cosponsors in addition to Sen. Rubio, of whom three are Republicans and two are Democrats.


Of NoteBoris Yefimovich Nemtsov, a Russian physicist and politician, was a leading figure in the opposition movement for free-market economics and democratic social reforms in post-communist Russia. He was also an outspoken critic of Putin. Nemtsov advocated opposition reform movements in Russia as the cofounder and leader of the neoliberal Union of Right Forces, as co-founder (with chess champion Garry Kasparov) of the pro-democracy Solidarnost, and as co-founder and co-chair of the People’s Freedom Party. He was shot dead on the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge near Red Square just before midnight on February 27, 2015 — days after he publicly denounced Russian military involvement in Ukraine in 2015. Putin condemned the killing after the Interior Ministry confirmed it.

After Nemtsov’s death, a trial held in Moscow ended in 2017 with five Chechen menshooter Zaur Dadayev, brothers Shadid and Anzor Gubashev, Temirlan Eskerkhanov and Khamzat Bakhayev — convicted for his murder. During the trial, the judge didn’t allow questions about Nemtsov’s opposition politics to be asked. However, Nemtsov’s lawyer, Vadim Prokhorov, and human rights activists condemned the trial as a cover-up that left the attack’s real organizers unpunished. After the verdict, Prokhorov said:

“We can’t say we’re satisfied with the verdict. We would be happy if the murder hadn’t happened. But the main thing is neither the organisers nor those who ordered [the killing] have been found.”

After the men’s sentencing to prison terms ranging from 11 to 20 years, Prokhorov continued to argue that the assassination involved top Russian officials:

“Neither the organisers nor the masterminds were in the dock. No one any longer doubts that the trail leads to the close circle of Ramzan Kadyrov. The trail leads at least as far as Grozny [the Chechen capital], and perhaps higher.”

Opposition politician Ilya Yashin, a close ally of Nemtsov’s, also criticized the trial’s outcome, saying, “It’s impossible to consider the crime solved while the masterminds and organisers are still at liberty.”

Nemtsov’s daughter, Zhanna Nemtsova, says the investigation into her father’s murder was blocked by high-ranking politicians, and as such “The organizers have not been identified, found and brought to justice. The motive behind the killing, obviously political, hasn’t been officially acknowledged.” Nemtsova believes the international community can help by either undertaking its own investigations or putting pressure on Russian authorities to undertake a new, thorough investigation of her father’s murder.

Nemtsov is only one of many Kremlin critics who’ve been murdered or died under highly suspicious circumstances. These people include exile Nikolai Glushkov, oligarch and political exile Boris Berezovsky, human rights activist Nastya Estimerova, investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya and former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / vlad_karavaev)

AKA

Calling for accountability and justice for the assassination of Boris Nemtsov.

Official Title

Calling for accountability and justice for the assassination of Boris Nemtsov.

    When the Executive branch fails in its foreign relations functions, Congress should hold it accountable and act as the voice of the American people.
    Like (44)
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    This is a waste of time that will result in absolutely nothing. How about we spend our time and resources on calling for accountability from our own elected leaders?
    Like (26)
    Follow
    Share
    No way is a Nemtsov’s Assassination Investigation Needed it appears that this is nothing more than a Democratic attempt to slander President Trump and the USA 🇺🇸 reputation. A 2017 trial already concluded that five Chechen men were responsible for planning and carrying out Nemtsov’s assassination. There’s no need for further investigation — this matter is closed. Additionally, reopening this issue would strain an already tense U.S.-Russia relationship. SneakyPete......... 👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻. 3*12*19........
    Like (23)
    Follow
    Share
    We cannot turn a blind eye on Putin’s or the Saudi’s blatant murders of people. To do so would empower them to do more of the same. Next, a resolution to condemn Saudi prince for murder of Jasoggi. Ignoring these types of actions by world leaders is not an option.
    Like (23)
    Follow
    Share
    Would it GO anywhere?....Probably not, but it would show that we are not buying what they are shoveling.
    Like (19)
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    Share
    Nobody is above the law
    Like (16)
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    Like Russia really cares what we think. Waste of time. The House acts like hyperactive children and are all over the board. FOCUS! America! Remember us?
    Like (16)
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    Who made us the world's police force?
    Like (13)
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    It’s none of our business
    Like (7)
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    Our Congress has no authority, or business involving Us in Other Nations' affairs.
    Like (7)
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    Yes, and also hacking our elections
    Like (7)
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    We should NOT get involved in another country’s business. I would not want other countries getting involved in our business, even if it involved the assassination of an important person.
    Like (6)
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    Nemtsov is one of many Kremlin critics who have been murdered, or who have died in highly suspicious circumstances, and whose cases are still unsolved. Absolutely condemned the murder of Nemtsov and call on the Trump Administration to sanction those responsible. Vladimir Putin was covering up the assassination and we need an international investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice.
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    As you can see who is sponsoring this Bill explains immaturity within our government. This has nothing to do with us. Why don’t they work on an immigration system that works for the Dreamers and already illegals here. What business do we want with Russian problems when we can not even address our own.
    Like (5)
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    It happened in another country. He went there on his own. Fucking stay out of other country politics. I am sad he was killed. Sucks for sure but it’s not the US. And to be assassinated he must have done something wrong against that country. Stay out of it!!!!
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    This would just be feel good legislation and would accomplish nothing.
    Like (3)
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    A vote in support of this bill is important. The statement it makes should expect a Trump veto.
    Like (3)
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    PUTIN WOULD BE DICTATOR OF NOT ONLY RUSSIA, BUT THE ENTIRE WORLD IF HE COULD. HE OBVIOUSLY HAS NO REPECT FOR ANY OTHER COUNTRY'S SOVEREIGNTY! AND LIKE THE MOB BOSS HE IS, HE JUST ASSASSINATES WHOMEVER HE PLEASES, WHERE AND WHEN HE PLEASES, NO MATER WHO HE HURTS TO DO IT!!
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    Once again we are not the world police
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    Let Tasha make a phone call. Rocky and Bullwinkle and get to the bottom of it.
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