On Thursday, Yelena Stashina, a Moscow judge, denied Mr. Nemtsov’s appeal and sent him back to jail. This is the same judge who sent the terminally sick lawyer Sergey Magnitsky back to detention, where he died four days later in the fall of 2009. Congress is now preparing sanctions targeting her personally and other officials for complicity in Magnitsky’s death. Sen. Ben Cardin, Maryland Democrat, chairman of the Helsinki Commission for human rights, harshly denounced the miscarriage of justice in Russia.
This latest round of political persecution amid the vaunted “reset” between the United States and Russia has greatly resonated in the U.S. Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, and Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent, issued a strong statement expressing deep disappointment over the unjust treatment and arrest of Mr. Nemtsov and other opposition leaders. So did Sen. Mark Begich, Alaska Democrat, who published a declaration condemning the arrest, and his colleague Sen. Roger Wicker, Mississippi Republican.