MOSCOW, June 27 - RAPSI. Lawmaker Vyacheslav Nikonov has proposed drafting a “Guantanamo list,” or a “Bout list,” in response to the United States adopting a bill that would impose sanctions on Russian officials.
“We need to provide conditions preventing the 'Magnitsky bill adoption. If it is still adopted, Russia will have no other choice, but to respond symmetrically. We will adopt either a ‘Guantanamo list,’ or a ‘Bout list,'” lawmaker said.
Nikonov said it is difficult to say as of yet what the Russian response might be.
However, U.S. officials may be not as sensitive about Russian restrictions.
On June 26, the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations unanimously approved a bill to impose sanctions on the Russian officials allegedly linked to Hermitage Capital consultant Sergei Magnitsky’s death in 2009.
The Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act seeks to impose visa bans and asset freezes on Russian officials allegedly involved in the death of the 37-year-old lawyer, as well as in other gross human rights abuses in Russia.
Although the act has received broad support in Congress, President Barack Obama's administration has not appeared to be overly enthusiastic about the legislation.
Magnitsky was charged with involvement in a large-scale corporate tax evasion. He died in a Moscow pretrial detention center on November 16, 2009 after spending nearly a year behind bars.
According to investigators, Magnitsky and his accomplices stole hundreds of millions of rubles from the state by manipulating tax returns between September and October 2007.
In turn, Hermitage Capital maintained that it had paid 5.4 billion rubles ($186.5 million) in taxes, but the money was stolen abetted by law enforcement officials. Magnitsky's prosecution has been attributed to this theft.
Rights activists have pointed to multiple violations of his rights during his arrest and in detention, including signs that he was beaten by prison guards hours before his death.