Russian Investigative Committee Chairman Alexander Bastrykin has filed a request with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder that violations of rights of 26 adopted Russian children be verified.
"Alexander Bastrykin has sent an official letter to U.S. Attorney General Holder requesting verification of violations of rights of 26 adopted Russian children reported in the journalist inquiry by the Reuters news agency and the NBC television channel," Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Interfax.
"In addition, Alexander Bastrykin asked for the official delivery of copies of related documents in connection with the Russian Investigative Committee's preliminary inquiry into the certain facts," Markin said, referring to the cases of Anna Barnes (Anna Faizzulina born in 1994), Inga Whatcott (Inga Kurasova born in 1985), Dmitry Stuart and another 23 children from Russia.
"Expressing his readiness and hope for further cooperation, A. Bastrykin stressed in his letter that the Russian Investigative Committee was focused on the protection of rights and lawful interests of children who fell victim to various crimes," Markin said.
"The Russian Investigative Committee Chairman reminded [Holder] that issues related to the attempts on the life and health of Russian minors adopted by U.S. families, which were made on the U.S. territory, were repeatedly discussed during Russian-U.S. negotiations at various levels. But, unfortunately, the issue remained acute until now," he said.
The Western media published in September 2013 materials about orphans adopted in the United States, including orphans from Russia.
The media told the story of Inga Whatcott, 27, who was adopted by a U.S. couple at the end of the 1990s at the age of eleven. The reporters said the Whatcott couple refused to raise the problem child and tried to rid themselves of her. As a result, Inga lived with a number of foster families and repeatedly experienced sexual abuse and harassment.
Another Russian orphan, Anna Barnes, also lived with a number of foster families and experienced sexual abuse. Her adoptive parents searched for their substitutes online.
The reports sparked public outcry both in the United States and in Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry and Russian Children's Rights Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov asked the U.S. authorities to investigate the reports. It was also said that the Russian Investigative Committee had started investigating the materials presented by U.S. journalists.
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