Alekseyeva hopes Europe will follow example of U.S. with “Magnitsky law”


Russian human rights activists have backed the decision made by the U.S. Senate Committee on International Affairs to approve the “Magnitsky bill,” which envisions visa and financial restrictions on some Russian officials.

“It’s a very good decision. I hope some European countries will follow the example of the U.S.,” Moscow Helsinki Group Chairman Lyudmila Alekseyeva told Interfax on Wednesday.

Alekseyeva said no real investigation into the death in a Moscow detention facility of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky has been conducted in Russia. She said the decision made by the U.S. Senate committee is a signal from the international community to the Russian authorities.

“I believe it’s an international verdict,” Alekseyeva said.

Alekseyeva said she does not believe measures taken by Russia in response will be effective.

“Will they prohibit some U.S. officials from keeping their money in Russian banks? I doubt very much that U.S. officials keep their money here. If we introduce visa restrictions on ordinary Americans, it will only worsen business ties,” she said.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations unanimously approved the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, under which visa and financial restrictions could be imposed against a number of Russian officials.

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs earlier gave a nod to the act. Thus, the first stage of considering the act in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate is over.

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