World News

U.S. Imposes Sanctions on 18 For Rights Abuses in Russia

(Tops with 7 new grafs after list released; new head; fixes typo graf 9)

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. 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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs