This copy is for your personal, noncommercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customershereor use the "Reprints" tool that appears next to anyarticle. Visitwww.nytreprints.comfor samples and additional information.Order a reprint of this article now.
July 26, 2011
Russians Linked to Jail Death AreBarred From U.S.
ByANDREW E. KRAMER
MOSCOW — The Obama administration has disclosed one of its sharpestpolicy responses to Russian human rights abuses, telling American lawmakersthat dozens of Russian officials have been quietly barred from the UnitedStates over their involvement in the detention and death two years ago of aRussian lawyer fighting an enormous fraud and corruption case.The restrictions, put in place without official notification to the Russians,nevertheless represent a significant act of American pressure over the rightsabuses and the impunity in the judicial system inRussia. At the same time, thedisclosure appeared calibrated to protect hard-won improvements in the“reset” of relations between the two countries. A State Department memo laid out the visa ban, which was first reported by The Washington Post. The document was sent last week to senators who have been pushing for far more stringent measures. Their provisions would not only deny American entry to Russian officials linked to the case of the lawyer, SergeiL. Magnitsky, but also freeze their American assets. At least 19 senators aresponsoring the bill, including Benjamin L. Cardin, Democrat of Maryland, andJohn McCain, Republican of Arizona.The measure would apply as well to officials implicated in the shooting deathsof Natalia Estemirova, a human rights worker killed in the North Caucasus in2009, and Anna Politkovskaya, a crusading journalist killed at the entry to herMoscow apartment in 2006.