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US Treasury sanctions 12 Russians for human rights violations

An armed man in military fatigues stands guard outside a regional administration building seized by pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 27, 2014.
Vasily Maximov | AFP | Getty Images
An armed man in military fatigues stands guard outside a regional administration building seized by pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 27, 2014.

The United States on Tuesday sanctioned 12 Russians for human rights abuses, including officials who allegedly withheld medical care from a lawyer who died in prison after exposing large-scale corruption in Russia.

The U.S. Treasury Department, which announced the action, did not link it with the confrontation between Washington and Moscow over the Ukraine crisis, which has led the United States to target a number of senior Russian officials with sanctions.

The Treasury said in a statement Tuesday's sanctions would freeze any U.S. assets held by the 12 individuals and bar Americans from doing business with them.

Since 2012, the United States has targeted Russians for human rights abuses under a law named for Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who allegedly uncovered tax fraud that involved Russian officials.

The State Department has placed 18 Russians on a public list of those affected, and a handful of other senior officials are on a list that was not made public.

Last year, Russia convicted Magnitsky of tax evasion even after his death.

The people sanctioned on Tuesday included prison doctors, the judge who oversaw his posthumous trial and a banker alleged to have masterminded the conspiracy he uncovered.

The Treasury Department has posted a full list of the individuals being sanctioned.

- By Reuters