US Slaps Travel Ban on Russians Suspected in Magnitsky Death

Posted July 26th, 2011 at 9:55 pm (UTC-5)
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The U.S. State Department has imposed a travel ban on dozens of Russian officials suspected of involvement in the death of imprisoned lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

Magnitsky was arrested in 2009 for what his supporters say were phony tax evasion charges. He died almost one year later at age 37 after prison authorities withheld medical care and possibly life-saving surgery.

U.S. law requires the State Department to deny visas to anyone accused of human rights violations, including torture.

Some U.S. Senators wanted much harsher sanctions against the Russians.

Magnitsky worked for a U.S.-owned investment fund in Russia. He accused Russian police officials of stealing fund documents as part of a scheme to pocket hundreds of millions of dollars.

Those same police officials arrested Magnitsky, charging him with tax evasion. He spent nearly one year in jail in poor health, constantly denied the care which could have saved his life.