U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement regarding reports that the Obama Administration will not add new names to a list of Russian government officials responsible for human rights violations who can be sanctioned under the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law and Accountability Act. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"I'm appalled and confounded by the Obama Administration's refusal, according to media reports, to add new names to the list of Russian government officials responsible for human rights violations and subject to sanctions under U.S. law. This is a grave mistake that represents a concession to Putin and a disappointing blow for human rights advocates in Russia whose democratic freedoms are increasingly undermined by Putin's police state.
"We must do all we can to protect human rights under the "Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law and Accountability Act,' named after the Russian lawyer whose brave investigations into government corruption landed him in a Russian prison where he died after being tortured. We must stand with and support those who would be silenced by Putin's apparatchik. I urge the Administration to make human rights a priority not only in Russia, but also any place where the state deprives its citizens of their basic freedoms and human rights."