rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Russia bars FIFA's Garcia over human rights abuse

Russia bars FIFA's Garcia over human rights abuse

October 04, 2013 12:31 IST

Russia made clear on Thursday that FIFA's chief investigator Michael Garcia is barred from entering the country because he is one of the Americans blacklisted in a bitter dispute with the United States over human rights.

Michael J. Garcia, Chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics CommitteeGarcia is stepping up his inquiry into voting procedures for the 2018 and 2022 football World Cups. He plans to visit every country directly involved in the voting for the finals awarded to Russia for 2018 and Qatar for 2022.

But Garcia, a former U.S. federal prosecutor, is on a blacklist Moscow issued in June after Washington named 18 Russians barred from the United States for alleged involvement in lawyer Sergei Magnitsky's death or other gross rights abuses.

Garcia is barred from Russia because of his role in the prosecution of Viktor Bout, a Russian who was long wanted by U.S. authorities on suspicion of arms trafficking and is now serving a 25-year prison term in the United States.

Russia's "Guantanamo List" includes Americans it accuses of involved in torture at prisons and those involved in what it says have been the unfair, politically motivated arrests of Bout and other Russians by U.S. authorities.

"Let there be no doubt: We intend to react firmly to unfriendly attacks and unceremonious infringements on the rights of Russian citizens," the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

"Anyone who is involved in such things should think hard."

The ministry said the United States would be to blame for any consequences of Garcia's inability to enter Russia.

"Questions arising in connection with visa blacklists should be addressed to the initiators and executors of the extraterritorial and discriminatory 'Magnitsky Act', which contradicts norms of international law," it said. 

Photograph: Michael Buholzer/Reuters

Source:
© Copyright 2014 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.