Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Russia Expresses Anger Over E.U. Visa Restrictions

Posted by Info on 25/11/2010

Russian officials responded angrily on Thursday to a proposal that would deny European visas to a list of 60 officials who have been implicated in the death of Sergei L. Magnitsky, a lawyer who died in pretrial detention in Moscow last year.

Konstantin I. Kosachev, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the State Duma, condemned the proposed ban as “Bolshevik tactics” and said Russia might be forced to “very harshly retaliate” if the proposal went forward.

The comments were in response to action by the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, which unanimously approved language recommending that European Union countries deny visas to 60 officials in the Russian Interior Ministry, prosecutorial Investigative Committee and prison administration, as well as to 12 judges.

The language, part of the Parliament’s annual report on human rights, will go to the full body for approval in December. But European Union countries would not be bound by its language.

Mr. Magnitsky died on Nov. 16, 2009, after being held for more than 11 months on suspicion of tax fraud. At the time of his arrest, Mr. Magnitsky was working as outside counsel for Hermitage Capital Management, an international investment fund whose founder, William F. Browder, was involved in a bitter feud with the Russian authorities.

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