Saturday 11/28/20
HUMAN RIGHTS

Russia bans 25 British citizens in retaliation for sanctions

The issue concerns Russian officials being held responsible for the death of the lawyer and auditor Sergei Magnitsky in a prison cell in Moscow in 2009.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the G20 online summit, chaired by Saudi King from Riyadh. Photo: Kremlin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the G20 online summit, chaired by Saudi King from Riyadh. Photo: Kremlin.

Russia has sanctioned 25 British citizens in response to punitive measures taken by London against Moscow for human rights violations.

The British government issued punitive measures against a number of Russian officials in July "under imaginary and absurd pretexts," the Foreign Ministry announced in Moscow on Saturday. Therefore, representatives of Britain are now being banned from entering Russia, it said.

Specifically, the issue concerns Russian officials being held responsible for the death of the lawyer and auditor Sergei Magnitsky in a prison cell in Moscow in 2009.

The United States also saw serious human rights violations in dealing with Magnitsky and therefore imposed sanctions.

In Moscow, ministry spokesperson Maria Sakharova criticized the fact that London had never explained the basis the British government used in picking the guilty parties in Russia and pronouncing penalties in the Magnitsky case. Russia calls again for an end to the confrontation, Sakharova said.

Britain imposed sanctions on dozens of people for human rights violations in other countries in July. Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said that those with blood on their hands should not come to Britain.

Fraud charges

The penalties include entry bans and bank account freezes in Britain. Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the highest investigative authority, is affected in Moscow.

Magnitsky had accused officials at the Russian Interior Ministry of defrauding huge sums of money, but was then arrested on charges of tax fraud.

According to the European Court of Human Rights, Russia violated human rights several times in the case, for example by refusing Magnitsky medical aid while in custody.

The Strasbourg-based court sentenced Russia to pay around 34,000 euros (40,300 dollars) in compensation to Magnitsky's wife and mother.

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