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Russia lawmakers approve ban on US adoptions

The Russian state Duma [official website, in Russian] approved a bill on Friday banning Americans from adopting Russian children [RIA Novosti report]. The Duma later expanded the bill to include foreigners from all countries alleged to have violated Russians' rights. Human Rights Watch [official website] has urged the upper chamber of Russia's parliament to reject the law [press release], stating that it would undermine Russia's commitments under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child [text].

According to RAPSI, a legal information agency which operates in coordination with Russian courts, the bill was adopted in retaliation [RAPSI report] for the US adoption [JURIST report] of the Magnitsky Act [text], which imposes US travel and financial restrictions on human rights abusers in Russia. The bill was so named for Sergei Magnitsky [BBC report], a Russian whistle-blower who arrested on charges of tax fraud, who later died in prison [JURIST report]. The legislation also comes just months after Russia and the US entered into an agreement [JURIST report] tightening restrictions on international adoptions.

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