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Russia Warns US Not to Publish List of Alleged Human Rights Abusers

Moscow has warned Washington against publishing a list of Russian officials who face sanctions for alleged human rights abuses.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said on Friday that publication of the list would severely strain relations.

The list, which was expected to be released Friday, is authorized by the Magnitsky Act, a law passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Barack Obama last December.

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.

The so-called "Magnitsky list" includes not only Russian officials involved in his case, but those who have participated in the Kremlin's crackdown on Russians' political rights.



In response to the Magnitsky Act, Russia's parliament 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 again 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."

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