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Russian MPs Toughen Response to US Magnitsky Act
19.12.2012 08:35

The Russian parliament has tabled more sanctions for US NGOs as it seeks a tougher response to the Magnitsky Act.

MPs from three factions submitted a series of amendments to the State Duma's constitutional committee that would seriously restrict the operations of Russian NGOs or Russian offices of foreign NGOs that receive US funds or employ US citizens and engage in political activities.

According to one of the amendments, Russian citizens holding US citizenship will not be allowed to work in NGOs with a political agenda. Any violation of the ban would see their licences revoked and the funds confiscated.

Lyudmila Alexeyeva, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, the first human rights centre in modern Russia, said the move is directly targeting her. She said she would retain her US citizenship granted in 1982 and lambasted MPs for their 'futile anger' at the Magnitsky Act.

Earlier, she refused to register her organization as a foreign agent and called for domestic donations. Within weeks, the Moscow Helsinki Group received 3.5 million roubles, plus a million from billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.

The so called bill Dima Yakovlev retaliatory bill is named after an 18-month-old Dima Yakovlev who died after his adoptive American father left him in a locked car in a parking lot for an extended period of time on a hot summer day.


Author: Mikhail Vesely

Tags: US Magnitsky Act Dima Yakovlev Act US-Russian relations Lyudmila Alexeyeva  

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