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U.S. Lawmakers Seek To Expand Magnitsky Sanctions Globally

Mourners hold a photo of Sergei Magnitsky at his funeral in Moscow in November 2009, following his death after nearly a year in pretrial custody during which he was abused and prevented from receiving medical care despite his declining health.
Two senior U.S. lawmakers have introduced legislation that would expand to all countries the Magnitsky Act passed in 2012 to penalize Russian officials for alleged human rights abuses.

Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona and Democratic Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland said on January 16 that their Global Human Rights Accountability Act would ensure "human rights abusers from anywhere in the world are denied entry into the United States and barred from using our financial institutions."

The new legislation is several steps from becoming law but has attracted support from both parties.

The Magnitsky Act, passed in late 2012, introduces visa bans and financial sanctions on Russian officials implicated in the 2009 death of whistle-blowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

Moscow considers the legislation unacceptable meddling in its domestic affairs.

Based on reporting by and Reuters