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Russia bars 'undesirable' U.S. officials

MOSCOW, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Russia has compiled a list of U.S. officials who will be denied entry to the country as "undesirables," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Saturday.

The list is in response to a U.S. action, RIA Novosti reported. About 60 Russian officials have been barred from traveling to the United States because of their alleged involvement in the arrest, imprisonment and death of Serge Magnitsky, a lawyer who was arrested after accusing Russian tax officials of corruption.

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The United States has not said which Russian officials are on the list, The Washington Post reported.

Alexander Lukashevich, the ministry spokesman, said the Russian list contains "highly appointed Washington officials tied to crimes in the humanitarian sphere."

"Such moralizing calls appear especially cynical against the background of the practical legalization of torture in U.S. special prisons, kidnappings and mistreatment of terrorism suspects, the indefinite detention of prisoners in Guantanamo, uninvestigated murders of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan," he said.

Lukashevich also cited Russian citizens arrested in Thailand and Liberia who were extradited to the United States, describing the actions as kidnapping.

Magnitsky, a lawyer who worked for a British company, Hermitage Capital Management, was arrested in November 2008. He had not been tried when he died in jail a year later.

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