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.

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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.

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