Russia may retaliate against Magnitsky Act with Dima Yakovlev Law

The United Russia faction at the State Duma has proposed to name the bill retaliating against the Magnitsky Act after 18-months-old Dima Yakovlev who died after his adoptive American father left him in a locked car in a parking lot for nine hours on a hot day.

"They named their act after Magnitsky and United Russia proposes to name our bill after Dima Yakovlev, a two-year-old baby boy who was burned to death in Purcellville, Virginia," First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee Vyacheslav Nikonov (United Russia) said at the house meeting on Tuesday.

He thinks that the bill should be dedicated to the memory of all children who fell victims to cruelty of U.S. adoptive parents.

The deputy called the children by name and said that according to Russian Children's Rights Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov 19 Russian children died at U.S. adoptive families over the past decade.

"All members of the United Russia faction will co-author the Dima Yakovlev Bill," Nikonov said.

He recalled that the Magnitsky Act applied only to Russian representatives suspected by the U.S. of human rights violations and said that the Russian law should apply to U.S. representatives.

"Our law cannot avoid freezing of bank accounts and impoundment of assets either," the deputy said.

He described U.S. individuals to be barred from visiting Russia.

"That would be the killers of Russian children and those who allowed them to dodge responsibility. That would be security service agents who had abducted Russian citizens abroad, like Viktor Bout was abducted, and judges who passed unimaginable sentences on our citizens for crimes they had not committed. That would be the administration of the Guantanamo prison where people are kept for years without a trial and tortured," Nikonov said, adding that the Russian Foreign Ministry had already drafted the blacklist.

A former Guantanamo prison head has been denied a visit to Russia, the deputy said.

18-months-old Dima Yakovlev died in July 2008. His adoptive father Michael Harrison father left him in a locked car in a parking lot for nine hours on a day in a 50-degrees heat. The U.S. court acquitted Harrison, who had been accused of an unpremeditated murder.

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