Obama asked to retaliate on Moscow’s adoption ban
WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
Lawmakers applaud Obama (C) after he signs the ‘Magnitsky’ law. EPA photo
Tens of thousands of petitioners have urged President Barack Obama to respond in kind to Moscow’s plan to bar Americans from adopting Russian children, amid a diplomatic tiff sparked by U.S. adoption of the so-called Magnitsky Act.
At least three petitions on the White House website are calling for U.S. sanctions against Russian lawmakers who backed a bill that one of the documents says will “jeopardize lives and well-being of thousands of Russian orphans.”
Russian lawmakers “breached all imaginable boundaries of humanity, responsibility, or common sense and chose to jeopardize lives and well-being of thousands of Russian orphans, some of whom, the ill and the disabled ones, now might not have a chance of survival if the ban on international adoption is to be put in place,” the petition continues.
The petitioners urged the Obama administration to “identify those involved in adopting such legislature responsible under the ‘Magnitsky Act.’”
A second petition, signed by more than 7,000 people, asks that the Magnitsky Act “be extended to supporters of this law in (the) Russian Duma.” And a third, with nearly 3,500 signatures, asked Obama to add Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Magnitsky list of human rights violators if he signs the law banning adoptions by Americans.
Moscow sees the ban on adoptions as retaliation for a U.S. human rights law that allows the seizure of assets from Russian officials implicated in the 2009 death of a Russian lawyer.