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US imposes sanctions on more Russians over lawyer's death

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-12-30 11:03

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration on Monday imposed sanctions on more Russian officials under a law enacted two years ago following the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

The Department of Treasury added four Russians, including a deputy minister of internal affairs and the chief of presidential administration for the Chechen Republic, to its sanctions list.

The sanctions, which deny the foursome entry into the United States and freeze all of their assets under US jurisdiction, came as the State Department presented to Congress its third annual report on the administration's implementation of the so-called Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act.

The latest extension of penalty has raised the total number of names on the "Magnitsky Blacklist" to 34, with 16 included in the past year, State Department spokesman Jeffrey Rathke said in a statement.

A senior State Department official told reporters via teleconference that the administration intends to "pursue additional designations."

Washington described Magnitsky as a man who uncovered large-scale corruptions among Russian officials. Magnitsky was arrested in November 2008 for alleged tax fraud and died in prison a year later.

The United States claimed Magnitsky died because of medical neglect. But Russia said no evidence pointed to his death being caused deliberately.

US President Barack Obama signed the Magnitsky Act in December 2012, imposing sanctions on Russian officials allegedly responsible for the 37-year-old lawyer's death.

Russia retaliated by passing the Anti-Magnitsky Act in January 2013, barring US citizens from adopting Russian orphans and banning Americans suspected of human rights violations from entering Russia.

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