Russia expands blacklist targeting Americans

Moscow, Jan 29 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia said Tuesday it was extending its "Dima Yakovlev" blacklist to include more US citizens deemed to be human rights violators, and who will be banned from entering the country.

"The foreign ministry is carrying out the law known as the Dima Yakovlev law, including the part which mentions the compilation of a list. But we are not disclosing the names," Foreign Minister Lavrov said.

The Russian blacklist, also known as the "Guantanamo List", was drawn up last year in response to the US's Magnitsky Act.

The Russian list initially included 11 US officials allegedly involved in human rights violations and torture at the Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba and in secret CIA prisons across Europe.

Sixty more people linked with the criminal prosecution of Russian nationals as well as violations against adopted children and the authors and lobbyists of the Magnitsky Law have been added to the list, according to State Duma International Affairs Committee head Alexei Pushkov.

It does not, however, include any politicians such as former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and former vice president Dick Cheney, whom the foreign ministry holds responsible for the Guantanamo Bay facility, the Vedomosti newspaper reported.

These names were mentioned in the foreign ministry's report on human rights violations in October 2012, Vedomosti said.

"Logically, Cheney and Rice must not be on the list, as this could have spoiled the diplomatic relations between the two countries," said State Duma International Affairs Committee first deputy chairman Leonid Kalashnikov.

The US government passed the Magnitsky Act in December 2012, introducing a blacklist of Russian officials allegedly linked to the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky at a Russian prison in 2009.

Russia immediately promised to retaliate for the measure.

The Dima Yakovlev law bans adoptions of Russian children by US parents. It would also see alleged US rights abusers blacklisted for entry into Russia, their assets in Russia seized and operations there by their companies suspended.

--IANS/RIA Novosti

pm/dg

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