Washington sanctions Russian magistrates investigating opponent Kara-Mourza
The United States announces a new series of sanctions against six Russian officials and magistrates in charge of the arrest and investigation of Russian opponent Vladimir Kara-Mourza, accused of having “spread false information” on the conflict in Ukraine.
Historian and human rights defender, Mr. Kara-Mourza, 41, was arrested in April 2022 in Moscow, after taking a stand against the Russian attack, and faces up to thirty-five years in prison. The Russian authorities accuse him of the content of a speech delivered to elected officials in Arizona, during which he had “taken a stand against the regime of [Vladimir] Putin and war crimes perpetrated by members of the Russian armed forces,” the Treasury Department said in a statement.
The people targeted by the sanctions are the Deputy Minister of Justice, Oleg Sviridenko, the judge in charge of the investigation, Elena Lenskaya, the investigator appointed by the authorities, Andrei Zadachin, as well as Danila Mikhiev, who intervened as as an expert during Mr Kara-Mourza’s hearing. Two other magistrates, Diana Mishchenko and Ilia Kozlov, are also targeted.
All are subject to sanctions for “their involvement in the serious violation of human rights against Vladimir Kara-Mourza” under the Magnistki law, which allows the United States to sanction those responsible for this type of violation. This legislation, adopted in 2012 in the United States and which bears the name of a Russian lawyer who died in preventive detention after uncovering a corruption scandal, allows the administration to put in place sanctions against all those recognized responsible for human rights violations all over the world.
The sanctions provide for the freezing of the assets in the United States of the persons concerned, as well as of the entities in which they could be majority shareholders, directly or indirectly. Added to this are sanctions issued by the State Department, which imply a ban on entry into the United States for the six people and their relatives. This type of legislation has since been put in place by the European Union as well as the United Kingdom and Canada.
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