|Long title||An Act To authorize the extension of nondiscriminatory treatment (normal trade relations treatment) to products of the Russian Federation and Moldova and to require reports on the compliance of the Russian Federation with its obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization, and for other purposes.|
|Enacted by||the 112th United States Congress|
|Public Law||Pub.L. 112–208|
|Statutes at Large||126 Stat. 1496|
The Magnitsky Act, formally known as the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012, is a bipartisan bill passed by the U.S. Congress and President Obama in November–December 2012, intending to punish Russian officials responsible for the death of Russian lawyer Magnitsky in a Moscow prison in 2009.
In June 2012, the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs reported to the House a bill called the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 (H.R. 4405). The main intention of the law was to punish Russian officials who were thought to be responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky by prohibiting their entrance to the United States and their use of its banking system. The legislation was taken up by a Senate panel the next week, sponsored by Senator Ben Cardin, and cited in a broader review of the mounting tensions in the international relationship.
In November 2012, provisions of the Magnitsky bill were attached to a House bill (H.R. 6156) normalizing trade with Russia (i.e. repealing the Jackson–Vanik amendment) and Moldova. On 6 December 2012 U.S. Senate passed the House version of the law. The law was signed by President Barack Obama on December 14, 2012.
- Artyom Kuznetsov, a tax investigator for the Moscow division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Pavel Karpov, a senior investigator for the Moscow division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Oleg F. Silchenko, a senior investigator for the Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Olga Stepanova, head of Moscow Tax Office No. 28
- Yelena Stashina, Tverskoy District Court judge who prolonged Magnitsky's detention
- Andrey Pechegin, deputy head of the investigation supervision division of the general prosecutor's office
- Aleksey Droganov
- Yelena Khimina
- Dmitriy Komnov
- Aleksey Krivoruchko, Tverskoy District Court judge
- Oleg Logunov
- Sergei G. Podoprigorov, Tverskoy District Court judge
- Ivan Pavlovitch Prokopenko
- Dmitri M. Tolchinskiy
- Svetlana Ukhnalyova
- Natalya V. Vinogradova
- Kazbek Dukuzov, Chechen acquitted of the murder of Paul Klebnikov
- Lecha Bogatyrov, implicated by Austrian authorities as the murderer of Umar Israilov
Russian government reaction
In response to adoption of the Magnitsky Act, Russian government denied Americans adoption of Russian children, issued a list of US officials prohibited from entering Russia, and posthumously convicted Magnitsky as guilty. In addition, the Russian government reportedly lobbied against the legislature acting through a public relations company led by Kenneth Duberstein.
Ban on U.S. adoption of Russian children
Banning some U.S. officials from Russia
On April 13, 2013, Russia released a list naming 18 Americans banned from entering the Russian Federation over their alleged human rights violations, as a direct response to the Magnitsky list. The people banned from Russia are listed below:
US officials involved in legalizing torture and indefinite detention of prisoners:
- David Addington, Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney (2005–2009)
- John Yoo, Assistant US Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel, Department of Justice (2001–2003)
- Guantanamo Bay detention camps (2002–2003)
- Jeffrey Harbeson, US Navy officer, commandant of JTF-GTMO (2010–2012)
The Russian lawmakers also banned several U.S. officials involved in the prosecution and trial of Russian arms smuggler Viktor Bout and drug smuggler Konstantin Yaroshenko, both serving prison time in the United States:
- Jed Rakoff, Senior US District Judge for the Southern District of New York
- Preet Bharara, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York
- Michael J. Garcia, former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York
- Brendan R. McGuire, Assistant US Attorney
- Anjan S. Sahni, Assistant US Attorney
- Christian R. Everdell, Assistant US Attorney
- Jenna Minicucci Dabbs, Assistant US Attorney
- Christopher L. Lavigne, Assistant US Attorney
- Michael Max Rosensaft, Assistant US Attorney
- Louis J. Milione, Special Agent, US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
- Sam Gaye, Senior Special Agent, US DEA
- Robert F. Zachariasiewicz, Special Agent, US DEA
- Derek S. Odney, Special Agent, US DEA
- Gregory A. Coleman, Special Agent, US Federal Bureau of Investigation
Australian expatriate jurist Geoffrey Robertson, who is representing some of the Magnitsky campaigners, has described the Act as "one of the most important new developments in human rights". He says it provides "a way of getting at the Auschwitz train drivers, the apparatchiks, the people who make a little bit of money from human rights abuses and generally keep under the radar."
State Duma deputy Yevgeny Fedorov argued that the real purpose of the Magnitsky bill was to manipulate key figures in big business and government, with the aim of pro-American policy in the Russian Federation.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs Directorate for Special Affairs in the U.K. stated that it is aware of those on the list. The U.K. bans travel of those on the list under existing legislation which prohibits entry for those implicated in cases of human rights violations.
The World Socialist Web Site condemned the United States for only invoking human rights as a cover for realpolitik, stating that Washington had supported "far greater crimes, [such] as when Boris Yeltsin in 1993 ordered the bombardment of the Russian White House, the seat of the country’s parliament, killing over 1,000 people".
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- Unlawful Arrest by Vladimir Abarinov
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- Tom Jackman, Toddler’s tragic death in Herndon, in overheated car, continues as political issue in Russia four years later. Washington Post, 12/12/2012
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- H.R. 6156: Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012
- What the Magnitsky Act Means opinion piece. (If over 3 article free limit, use this archive link instead.)