sergei-magnitsky-afp-670
This file handout picture taken on December 29, 2006 and released on Novenber 15, 2010 by Hermitage Capital Management shows Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in Moscow. — Photo by AFP

MOSCOW: Russia on Saturday published its own blacklist of US officials banned from entering the country in retaliation for Washington's move Friday to name 18 Russians who allegedly committed human rights abuses.

“The war of lists is not our choice, but we cannot ignore outright blackmail,” said the Russian foreign ministry in a statement, which includes a list of 18 US officials “implicated in human rights violations”.

The list released by the US Treasury Friday names 16 Russians allegedly linked to the death of jailed lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, as well as two Chechens tied to other alleged rights abuses, all of whom are now barred from travelling to the US or holding assets there under the 2012 Sergei Magnitsky Act. The measure has infuriated Moscow, which had warned that it will retaliate with a similar measure. The foreign ministry on Saturday called the Magnitsky Act an “absurd” law that “intervenes in our domestic affairs” and “delivers a strong blow to bilateral relations”.

“Unlike the American list, which is formed arbitrarily, our list primarily includes those who are implicated in legalisation of torture and perpetual detentions in Guantanamo prison, to the arrests and kidnapping of Russian citizens,” the ministry said.

“It's time for Washington politicians to finally understand that there are no prospects in building relations with a country like Russia with the spirit of mentoring and undisguised dictating,” it said.

The list names four people allegedly implicated in Guantanamo abuses, including David Spears Addington, who served as chief of staff under former vice president Dick Cheney.

Fourteen more people are named as having violated the rights of Russian citizens abroad, including the US district judge Jed Rakoff and several prosecutors from his district in the state of New York, as well as several Drug Enforcement Administration officers and FBI agent Gregory Coleman.

Sergei Magnitsky died in pre-trial detention in 2009 at the age of 37 after being arrested and charged by the very same officials he had accused of organising a $230-million fraud scheme.

The case has come to symbolise the Kremlin's failure to crack down on corruption and has prompted a crisis in US-Russia ties.


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Comments (4) Closed




Rafiq Ahmed
Apr 13, 2013 11:33am
The Russians are behaving like any normal self respecting nation would.
M. Asghar
Apr 13, 2013 12:01pm
Russia is on the right path to confront the perpetual arbitrary behaviour of USA in a world moving towards a new order.
syed
Apr 13, 2013 06:53pm
It's not black and white,a lot of gray there.
Shaukat
Apr 14, 2013 02:08am
It is high time that such actions be taken by all nations! Come on Pakistan stand tall and act accordingly!