Rights Advocates Seek Yukos Attackers Blacklist

Russian human-rights activists and opposition politicians have called on the U.S. Senate to blacklist 305 officials in Russia involved in the prosecution of the Yukos oil firm and its former owner, Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

The targeted officials include Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika and Investigative Committee head Aleksandr Bastrykin.

The letter to the U.S. Senate was signed by former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, independent politician and academic Vladimir Ryzhkov, and human rights activist Lyudmila Alekseyeva.

The U.S. administration implemented in July a visa ban on a number of Russian officials after a similar request to punish human rights abusers.

Khodorkovsky was convicted of fraud, and tax evasion, and embezzlement, charges his supporters say were revenge for his political ambitions. The tycoon, who was arrested in 2003, is due to remain in jail until 2016.

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, is due to rule on September 20 on a lawsuit filed by former Yukos management seeking compensation for alleged illegal tax probes that led to the company’s bankruptcy in 2006.

compiled from media and agency reports

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