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European Parliament Calls for EU 'Magnitsky List'

A parliamentary sitting in Strasbourg. European Parliament

The European Parliament has passed a resolution calling on the EU Council of Ministers to impose sanctions on Russian officials implicated in the death of a Hermitage Fund lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in 2009.

The resolution, passed Wednesday, would create a blacklist along the lines of the one adopted by the U.S. in April, which contains the names of 18 people suspected of involvement in Magnitsky's death and other human rights abuses.

They are banned from traveling to the U.S. and having assets there. The measures caused tension between the U.S. and Russia, with Russia drawing up its own blacklist in response.

"The European Parliament … calls on the Council, therefore, to adopt a decision establishing a common EU list of officials involved in the death of Sergei Magnitsky; adds that this Council decision should impose targeted sanctions on those officials," the resolution said.

This is the fourth such European Parliament resolution since 2009. The EU Council didn't implement any of the previous resolutions, however.

Magnitsky was imprisoned on tax evasion charges in 2008 soon after accusing Russian officials of stealing $230 million in state funds. He died in jail a year later.

Although members of the Kremlin human rights council said his death was caused by severe beatings, investigators dropped their inquiry due to a lack of evidence.

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