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Duma Magnitsky Response Passes First Reading

Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky died in police custody in 2009.
Russia's lower house of parliament has passed a response to the U.S. Magnitsky Bill in the draft legislation's first reading.

The State Duma vote on December 14 saw 431 deputies voting in favor of the bill, two against and 10 abstentions.

The bill counters the Magnitsky Bill that the U.S. Senate passed last week which imposes sanctions and travel restrictions on individual Russian citizens suspected of human rights violations.

Russian officials have already announced that they are compiling a similar list of U.S. citizens whom Moscow considers guilty of rights violations and subject to Russian-imposed sanctions.

The bill is expected to pass second and third readings in the Duma next week.

It then goes to the Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, for approval and on to President Vladimir Putin for signing.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax