Boris Nemtsov Memorial Russia Freedom Forum

Irwin Cotler took part in the Boris Nemtsov Memorial Russia Freedom Forum in Toronto on March 9, 2016.

Well known human rights activist Marcus Kolga organized the event, commemorating the anniversary of the assassination of Boris Nemtsov in Moscow on February 27, 2015 – co-sponsored by, inter alia, the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights.

Marcus Kolga provided opening remarks and called upon the Honourable Irwin Cotler, former federal Minister of Justice, to introduce the panelists. Edward Schatz, Associate Professor Political Science at the University of Toronto moderated the panel presentation and a question and answer session.

The opening comments came from Bill Browder, who has led the international campaign for justice for Sergei Magnitsky, who was imprisoned and tortured after he discovered a massive fraud by Kremlin tax agents in 2008. Browder is the author of "Red Notice".

The second speaker was Vladimir Kara-Murza, the Deputy Leader of the People's Freedom Party. Kara-Murza was a close colleague of Boris Nemtsov. Kara-Murza is a journalist and activist who survived a heavy-metal poisoning in 2015 that left him comatose and with multi-organ failure.

The third panelist was Zhanna Nemtsova, a correspondent fro Deutsche Welle and the founder of The Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom. She left Moscow in 2015 due to safety concerns after the murder of her father.

All three panelists presented numerous aspects of the current Russian regime with compelling details. Their presentations passionately explained the rationale for effective sanctions again the approximately one thousand Kremlin cronies who continue to perpetuate injustices onto the Russian people and their neighbours, especially now in The Ukraine.

The evening concluded with the hundreds in the audience standing for a moment of silence in recognition of Boris Nemtsov.