Russia’s Blacklist Bill Targets America

Anton Altman /

A bill introduced in the Russian Duma last Tuesday would allow the Foreign Ministry to blacklist foreigners believed to have violated the rights of Russian citizens. The bill is an angry response to the Sergey Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, which was introduced in Congress last month with bipartisan support. The Magnitsky legislation is named after Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer for Hermitage Capital, which in the mid-2000s was the largest Western portfolio investor in Russia. Magnitsky died a torturous death after prison authorities deliberately denied him medical care.

Magnitsky was a classic whistleblower: He exposed a large-scale tax fraud of $230 million sanctioned by law enforcement officials who also shut down Hermitage Capital Russia. Clearly, the authorities denied him medical care, as he entered the prison healthy. He subsequently died in pre-trial detention with unexplained injuries including bone fractures and bruises. (more…)