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19 Jul, 2014 11:45

Russia bars entry to 12 Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib-linked Americans

Russia bars entry to 12 Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib-linked Americans

Russia has responded to US sanctions against its officials and businessmen by banning 12 more Americans from entering the country. Ten of those in the list are implicated in the Abu Ghraib torture scandal, and two are connected to Guantanamo.

We have mentioned before that it is futile to communicate with us in the language of sanctions. Such measures will not be allowed to pass without consequence,” said a statement on the foreign ministry website.

Among the most high-profile targets are Rear Adm. Richard W. Butler the Commander, of the Guantanamo Joint Task Force, who is accused of “approved the use force to end the hunger strike among inmates”, and Ricardo Sanchez, a retired general who commanded the Coalition Ground Forces in Iraq in 2003 and 2004, who was “directly responsible for the control of Abu Ghraib prison.

Most of the others on the "stop-list" are military personnel, who were found guilty of self-documented mistreatment and torture of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib.

It also includes the high-profile US District Judge Gladys Kessler, who has repeatedly ruled on the legality of force feeding at Guantanamo’s Camp Delta, though ironically, was responsible for the landmark ruling, passed in May, that bans the US Army from force feeding Syrian detainee Abu Wa'el Dhiab.

An inmate being escorted in Guantanamo (AFP Photo / John Moore)

The Russian foreign ministry says that it is preparing further bans.

The latest wave of sanctions over Ukraine will necessarily result in counter-measures. Firstly, the border is being closed to multiple American citizens, which they will discover upon submitting a visa application. Meanwhile, economic sanctions will have a boomerang effect, and harm US business interest on Russian territory, In essence, the US is punishing itself.

The initial round of sanctions and counter-sanctions between Moscow and Washington was set off with the passing of the Magnitsky Act in the US in 2012.The act intended to prevent free entry to several Russian officials connected with the death of Russian lawyer Sergey Magnitsky, who passed away while in police custody in 2009.

Subsequently, more people Russian citizens and Crimean officials have ended up on US blacklists in several waves of sanctions.

Russia had already responded with its initial Guantanamo list of 18 names last year, to mirror the Magnitsky Act, and the 12 names this time are symmetrical to the expansion of the Magnitsky list in May.

In a separate but related move, Russia has banned controversial US congressman Jim Moran, “who has repeatedly evaded responsibility despite multiple financial misdeeds” from crossing its border. This is a response to the US banning Russian ruling party deputy Adam Delimkhanov from entering earlier this month, due to alleged mafia ties and allegations of being an accomplice to murder.



Rear Adm. Richard W. Butler, commander of the Guantanamo prison, who sanctioned the force-feeding following the detainees’ hunger strike.

Gladys K. Kessler, senior United States District Judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia, who approved that “the legality of force-feeding” the hunger strikers at Gitmo.

Abu Ghraib

Ricardo Sanchez, a retired general who commanded the Coalition Ground Forces in Iraq in 2003 and 2004, was “directly responsible for the control of Abu Ghraib prison.”

Janis Leigh Karpinsky, retired officer, former head at Abu Ghraib and other prisons in Iraq in 2003 and 2004, who “covered up the abuse of prisoners.” After investigation she was demoted from brigadier general to colonel.

Steven L. Jordan, a retired lieutenant colonel, who headed the question of prisoners. Following the proceedings, he was reprimanded.

Steven L. Jordan.(AFP Photo / Paul J. Richards)

Ivan Frederick, former staff sergeant, “participated in the abuse of prisoners, personally beat them.”

Javal Davis, former sergeant, participated in the abuse of prisoners.

Charles Allan Graner, former US military officer, who “tortured the prisoners.”

Sabrina Dawn Harman, former US military officer, who abused the prisoners.

Jeremy Sivits, Lynndie Rana England, Israel Rivera, former US military personnel who took part in the “torture of the prisoners.” Rivera avoided criminal liability.

Ivan Frederick.(Reuters / Alex Grimm)