The freedom of press is essential for democracy, however, the European Parliament, German-French television network Arte, organizers of Norwegian festival and media sources under political influence tend to cancel the screenings of the materials they do not accept, including the film “The Magnitsky Act – Behind the scenes” by Andrei Nekrasov, which questions the story told by William Browder about his accountant Sergei Magnitsky, who allegedly exposed Russian tax fraud scheme. The film was censored and all the screening where canceled, including the premiere, which was stopped right before the beginning. Yet, the
First Amendment to the US Constitution, which prevents the government from making laws that abridge the freedom of speech and the freedom of press, made it possible to organize the screening of the abovementioned movie in the Newseum, a museum which has the text of the Amendment written above its main entrance.
According to media reports published after the screening, it is worth asking whether passing Magnitsky Act was a right thing to do. Banning of the film in the US and Europe and the fact that Browder’s lawyers threatened European Parliament and Arte with the legal action makes it clear that the truth about Magnitsky is not welcomed. As conducting an independent investigation was not considered as an option, Western governments found it easier to create and politicize their own story.