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U.K. Lawmakers Urge Sanctions Against Russians Over Magnitsky Death

Sergei Magnitsky died after a year of pretrial custody in 2009.
Sergei Magnitsky died after a year of pretrial custody in 2009.
Legislators in the United Kingdom's lower house of parliament, the House of Commons, have called on the government to impose visa bans and freeze the assets of some 60 Russians connected to the 2009 prison death of anticorruption lawyer Sergei Magnistky.

Magnitsky died after nearly a year in pretrial detention after implicating top Russian officials in a scheme to defraud the government.

Moscow has not prosecuted high-ranking officials connected to the lawyer's case, which critics say is emblematic of rule of law and human rights issues in Russia.

Conservative MP Dominic Raab described Magnitsky as part of a "noble Russian tradition of dissidents."

U.K. Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said the government does not oppose the measure but added that its usual practice is to not comment on individual foreign cases.

MPs said Moscow's ambassador to London had urged the debate to be canceled.

The U.S. Senate is considering similar legislation, and Washington has already imposed visa bans connected to the case.