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U.S. Online Petition Calls for Visa Ban on Russian Lawmakers

Dec. 23 (Bloomberg) -- A petition on the White House website seeking to extend travel restrictions to Russian lawmakers who proposed to ban the adoption of Russian orphans in the U.S. surpassed 25,000 signatures, triggering a review.

Russia’s lower house of parliament, the Duma, proposed the adoption ban in retaliation for a law approved by Congress this month that imposes a visa ban and asset freeze on Russian officials suspected of involvement in the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky and other human-rights abuses.

Magnitsky, a Russian tax attorney, died in 2009 in a Moscow prison after saying he was abused and denied medical care to force him to withdraw allegations of a $230 million tax fraud by officials.

The web petition to U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration called the Magnitsky law “a profoundly pro-Russian step” in battling corruption and expressed outrage over the Duma proposal, which will “jeopardize the lives and wellbeing” of orphans.

The White House will review any petition made on its website that gains more than 25,000 e-signatures in less than 30 days, according to the site. The petition, created on Dec. 21 by an Alexander V, has had more than 34,000 signatures.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Bierman in Moscow at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at

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