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Russian Federal Council passes "anti-Magnitsky Act"

English.news.cn   2012-12-27 02:48:02            
 • The Russian Federation Council approved on Wednesday the "anti-Magnitsky Act".
 • The bill is widely believed a retaliation for the U.S. " Magnitsky Act".
 • It would take effect on Jan. 1, 2013 if signed by the president into law.


MOSCOW, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Russian Federation Council, or the upper house of the parliament, approved on Wednesday a bill which would imposes entry bans on U.S. citizens who have allegedly committed crimes against Russians abroad, and persons involved in abduction or illegal imprisonment of Russians, as well as those implicated in abuse of adopted Russian children.

The bill is widely believed a retaliation for the U.S. " Magnitsky Act", which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate in November, imposing visa bans and asset freezes on Russian officials thought responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer who died in 2009 in a Moscow jail after accusing officials of tax fraud.

The Russian lawmakers voted unanimously for the "anti-Magnitsky Act", or the Dima Yakovlev bill, which also bans U.S. citizens from adopting Russian orphans and acting as intermediaries in that sphere.

The bill is named after Dima Yakovlev, a Russian-born toddler who died in the United States due to his foster parents' negligence.

According to the Russian process, the bill will be submitted to President Vladimir Putin for signing. It would take effect on Jan. 1, 2013 if signed by the president into law.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told local media Wednesday that Putin would consider the "anti-Magnitsky Act" within two weeks after the Federation Council approved it.

The State Duma, or lower house of the parliament, on Friday passed the bill with 420 parliamentarians voting yes, seven voting against and one abstaining.

However, the "anti-Magnitsky Act" was not supported by all the Russians. On Wednesday, the Moscow police have detained four people near the Federation Council building, who were protesting against the bill.

Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry's commissioner for human rights, commented on Wednesday the bill banning the U.S. citizens to adopt Russian orphans does not contradict the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

The high-ranking diplomat said "The Convention contains no binding norms regarding international children adoption," adding that "on the opposite, it encourages the member states to prioritize the national means of children adoption."

The UNCRC, which grants all children and young people a comprehensive set of rights, was signed in November 1989. All member states are obliged to develop and undertake all actions and policies in the light of the best interests of a child.

Editor: Liu
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