News / Europe

US Imposes Sanctions on 18 For Rights Abuses in Russia

FILE - Photo of a portrait of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who died in Russian jail.
FILE - Photo of a portrait of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who died in Russian jail.
VOA News
The United States has imposed sanctions on 18 people for human rights abuses, in accordance with a law enacted in December to punish Russian officials involved the imprisonment and death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

The 18 people named are now subject to visa bans and asset freezes.

Most of them are Russian officials accused of involvement in the Magnitsky case.  They include a former Moscow police investigator (Pavel Karpov), the former head of the prison in the Russian capital where Magnitsky died (Dmitry Komnov), three judges, and officials with the Investigative Committee and Prosecutor General's Office.

Contrary to what some observers had expected, top officials like Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin were not included on the list.

While most of the 18 people on the list are Russians, it also includes citizens of Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan.

The list also includes two officials from Chechnya, a republic in Russia's North Caucasus region.  One of them (Lecha Bogatirov) has been accused of assassinating an opponent of Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya's pro-Moscow president, in January 2009.

The other (Kazbek Dukuzov) was accused of involvement in the 2004 murder in Moscow of American journalist Paul Klebnikov.

In response to the Magnitsky Act, Russia's parliament last December passed two bills that President Vladimir Putin signed into law.

One bars Americans from adopting Russian children, while the other lists sanctions to be taken against those who have violated the human rights of Russian citizens.

In addition, Russia has already denied visas to U.S. officials it says violated human rights more broadly, including the rights of prisoners held at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

On Monday, Vyacheslav Nikonov, a first deputy chairman of the State Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee, told VOA's Russian service that the same number of people on the Magnitsky list will be put on the so-called "Guantanamo list."

White House spokesman Jay Carney on Friday said Washington would continue to work with Russia despite disagreement over the list.

"We have our differences with Russia," said Carney. "We make them clear. Human rights is an issue that we have disagreements with them on at times and, you know, we are very frank and candid about that. And we will engage with the Russians on those issues as well as the others that we have, some of which allow for opportunities of cooperation that are important for the national security interests of the United States as well as for the security, in the case of North Korea, of that region of the world."

Sergei Magnitsky was a Russian lawyer who was arrested after exposing a state embezzlement scheme.  He died in prison in 2009 after being beaten and denied medical treatment.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
April 13, 2013 8:41 PM
To Anonymous
I completely agree with you.
The Kremlin’s “logic” looks bizarre, unprofessional, immature and a childish game “tit-for-tat” with their “symmetrical” answer. Actually, it’s absolutely disproportional when they compare people detained on suspicion in international terrorism with Mr Magnitsky who had tried to expose billion-size theft of tax money. Even more, their “answer” shows the world their “toothlessness”, inability to put forward any constructive approach, to defend their total abuse of basic human rights in contemporary Russia with Rights and Freedoms of Man and Citizen stipulated in articles 17.1, 22.1, 27, 29.1,29.5,31, 56.1 of Russian Constitution denied for Russian people, with silencing all people having anything to say.

by: Rob Swift from: Great Britain
April 13, 2013 6:34 AM
You should see the human rights abuses in this country. (Great Britain). Swift v Babergh District Council in the High Court, High Court appeal, Master of the Rolls Court, and Court of appeal London 1992

by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
April 12, 2013 9:38 PM
The list with all certainty is directed against some persons noticed in ruthless wrongdoing against Mr. Magnitsky and some others. It isn’t against any government or a country in whole. So, it looks very, very bizarre and illogical when Mr.Putin and his spokesman have threatened about severe implications and strain in bilateral governmental relation. It has become crystal clear that the severe abuse human rights in question Mr. (Magnitsky and some others) was endorsed by the FSB regime and was an official policy.
In Response

by: Anonymous
April 13, 2013 5:02 AM
Well what it does is show not only Russians but the whole world the credibility, validity, and wrongdoing of the government of Russia. As a kid would do, Putin would like to retaliate and chose 18 people tied in to Guantanamo. Well Mr Putin everyone already knows about Guantanamo so it isnt going to hurt anyone by choosing 18 people it just makes you sound and look like a child. I think it is great the Americans are pointing their finger right at those responsible. Russia deserves a slap in the face for their systematic killing by promoting Bashar al Assad. Like I said before and I will say it again, Russia was stupid to back Bashar al Assad, it will come back to haunt Russia for years to come. The world is not going to tollerate any Russian crap anymore. Exposure is a wonderful thing, and exposing corruption is even better. Hats off to the Americans for this one, this is just one Slap to Putin that will have a whole lot more coming, watch and see :).
In Response

by: Igor from: Russia
April 13, 2013 2:06 AM
Gennady, do you have any realiable proof of any ruthless or wrongdoing committed against Mr. Magnitsky by those persons or you only believe in one-sided and politically motivated stories. By taking such steps the US has considered itself an internaltional court and can decide and punish arbitrarily anyone who is not its citizen and by doing so the US has violated russian sovereignty.
We ourself can imitate them by taking strong actions against some of the USA's former presidents who committed war crimes during the Vietnam War, massacring thousands of innocent Vietmamese children.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs