US authorities are actively researching individuals and gathering evidence to impose sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, the US Department of State said in a notice on Monday.

The US Congress passed the Magnitsky Act in 2012, which allows Washington to deny visas and free the assets of Russian officials allegedly involved in the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky and alleged human rights violations in Russia.

“Although no financial sanctions were imposed under the Act during the 120 days since its enactment, the United States is actively seeking to identify persons to whom this Act may apply and collecting the necessary evidence to impose sanctions,” the notice stated.

The notice said that up to date, the US Department of Treasury has issued a number of sanctions related to human rights abuses and corruption in Belarus, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Russia, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.

In January, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said sanctions imposed by the Magnitsky Act amounted to an unjustified and politically motivated initiative, after the United States added five Russian individuals to its Specially Designated Nationals list for alleged violations of the legislation.

Magnitsky was a Russian lawyer who revealed alleged corruption at the highest levels of the Russian government. He was detained in 2008 and accused of conspiracy and abatement for tax evasion. He died in the Matrosskaya Tishina pre-trial detention center in Moscow in 2009.

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