Dima Yakovlev Law
Standard of the president of Russia
  • On Sanctions for Individuals Violating Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms of the Citizens of the Russian Federation
Citation272-ФЗ
Territorial extentRussian Federation
Signed byPresident Vladimir Putin
Signed28 December 2012
Effective1 January 2013
Legislative history
Introduced29 December 2012
First reading21 December 2012 (State Duma)
Second reading27 December 2012 (Federation Council)
Status: In force

March against Dima Yakovlev Law

Federal Law of 28 December 2012 No.272-FZ "On Sanctions for Individuals Violating Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms of the Citizens of the Russian Federation",[1][2] popularly known as the Dima Yakovlev Law (Russian: Закон Димы Яковлева),[3][a] is a law in Russia that defines sanctions against U.S. citizens involved in "violations of the human rights and freedoms of Russian citizens". It creates a list of citizens who are banned from entering Russia, and also allows the government to freeze their assets and investments. The law suspends the activity of politically active non-profit organisations which receive money from American citizens or organisations.[2] It also bans citizens of the United States from adopting children from Russia.[6] The law was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 28 December 2012 and took effect on 1 January 2013.[citation needed] The law is informally named after a Russian orphan adopted by a family from Purcellville, Virginia, who died of heat stroke after being left in a parked car for nine hours.[3] The law is described as a response to the Magnitsky Act in the United States, which places sanctions on Russian officials who were involved in a tax scandal exposed by Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky; Magnitsky was alleged to have been handcuffed and tortured while in jail, supported by the official post-mortem expert opinion of the Russian Forensic Medical Examination Center of the Russian Ministry of Health[7]

Voting for the law in Russian Parliament

The bill was proposed by United Russia deputy Ekaterina Lakhova. The bill passed the State Duma on 21 December 2012 and the Federation Council on 27 December 2012.[8][9]

In the Duma, the bill's first reading saw one vote against (Ilya Ponomarev). The second reading received four votes against (Ilya Ponomarev, Dmitry Gudkov, Valery Zubov, Sergei Petrov - all from the A Just Russia faction), while the third and final reading was opposed by eight members (the previous four plus Andrei Ozerov from A Just Russia, Oleg Smolin and Zhores Alferov from the Communist Party of Russia, Boris Reznik from United Russia).[10][11]

A United States Department of State press release states they "deeply regret Russia's passage of a law ending inter-country adoptions between the United States and Russia".[12] United States Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said the law will "link the fate of orphaned children to unrelated political issues."[13]

Namesake

In the State Duma, the law was informally named after Dima Yakovlev (born Dmitry Yakovlev), a Russian toddler who was adopted by Miles Harrison of Virginia. The child was renamed Chase Harrison while in the United States.[14] In July 2008, less than three months after he arrived in the United States, Dima died while he was strapped into his adoptive father's car. He had been left alone for nine hours in the car after his father forgot to take him to daycare service.[15]

Following trial, Harrison was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter by a Circuit Court judge in Fairfax County, Virginia, in January 2009. The case became national news in Russia, highlighting abuse cases involving Russian children adopted by American parents. Following the child's death, Russian federal prosecutors opened an investigation into the circumstances of the incident, while Russian authorities called for restriction or ending of the adoption of Russian children by Americans.[16]

On 28 December 2012, Governor of Pskov Oblast Andrey Turchak suspended two officials pending an investigation into their roles in the adoption of Dima Yakovlev.[citation needed]

Reactions

Russian human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin said that the law will be contested in Russian constitutional courts.[17]

Support

The Russian Orthodox Church supports the law. Church spokesman Vsevolod Chaplin says orphans adopted by American citizens "won't get a truly Christian upbringing and that means falling away from the Church and from the path to eternal life, in God's kingdom".[18] According to the independent Moscow Times, the ban is popular among Russians.[19]

Criticism

Western

The U.S. media outlets The Christian Science Monitor,[20] Fox News,[21] The Daily Beast,[22] Time,[23] and a local Houston, Texas, media affiliate[24] criticised the move. The British newspaper The Guardian says it is "not about children's rights" and "ruins lives and leaves both countries looking sordid."[25] After the law was signed on December 28, the day many Christians mark as the Massacre of the Innocents, the law is referred to by The Economist as "Herod's law" and "cannibalistic".[26]

Amnesty International called the law "in no one's best interest" and called for Russian parliamentarians to reject the law.[27] Human Rights Watch Europe and Central Asia director Hugh Williamson says the law "could deprive them (Russian orphans) of the loving families they desperately need."[28]

Russian

On 14 January 2013, about 20,000 people marched against the law in Moscow.[29] Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar says "Russian orphans should not become hostages of politics."[30]

Aftermath

Further information: Orphans in Russia

1991 to 2010, over 50,000 Russian orphans were adopted in the United States; however, according to Time magazine, U.S. adoptions of Russian children fell by two-thirds from 2004 to 2009.[31] At the time of the 2012 ban, over one thousand prospective adoptions were in progress.[32] Among these prospective adoptions were about 200 Russian orphans told they were to be adopted.[33] In January 2017, the European Court of Human Rights levied a fine on Russia, stating the ban unlawfully discriminates on the basis of nationality.[19]

References

Notes

  1. ^ also known by other informal names: Dima Yakovlev Bill, Dima Yakovlev Act,[citation needed] anti-Magnitsky law,[4] or Law of Scoundrels[5]

Sources

  1. ^ "О мерах воздействия на лиц, причастных к нарушениям основополагающих прав и свобод человека, прав и свобод граждан Российской Федерации" [On Sanctions for Individuals Violating Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms of the Citizens of the Russian Federation]. Federal Law No. 272-FZ of 28 December 2012 (in Russian). State Duma. "Законодательство России. Поиск: Федеральный закон Дата принятия 28.12.2012 Номер начинается". Archived from the original on 9 July 2021. Retrieved 21 September 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  2. ^ a b A law on sanctions for individuals violating fundamental human rights and freedoms of Russian citizens has been signed Archived 2013-01-02 at the Wayback Machine // Kremlin.ru, 28 December 2012.
  3. ^ a b Englund, Will (11 December 2012). "Russians say they'll name their Magnitsky-retaliation law after baby who died in a hot car in Va". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 12 December 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
  4. ^ "Putin signs "anti-Magnitsky law" - Interfax". www.interfax.com. Archived from the original on 5 June 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  5. ^ ""Закон подлецов" в действии". Novaya Gazeta (in Russian). 1 June 2020. Archived from the original on 20 October 2021. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  6. ^ CNN Wire Staff (28 December 2012). "Russia's Putin signs anti-U.S. adoption bill". CNN. Archived from the original on 3 October 2020. Retrieved 28 December 2012. ((cite news)): |author= has generic name (help)
  7. ^ http://russian-untouchables.com/docs/Nekrasov%20Lies%20Presentaion%20June%20(ENG)%20NEW%20JUNE%202016%20v%202.pdf%7Cquote="The injuries which S.L. Magnitsky had were caused resultantly from the traumatic application of the blunt hard object (objects) which is confirmed by the closed type of the trauma and their morphological manifestations in the form of the abrasions, ecchymomas, blood effusions into the soft tissues"
  8. ^ "Russian State Duma Passes Anti-US Adoption Bill". RIA Novosti. 21 December 2012. Archived from the original on 25 July 2014. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
  9. ^ Burghardt, David (26 December 2012). "Russian parliament passes anti-US adoption law". The Moscow News. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
  10. ^ "Who voted against Dima Yakovlev law". Forbes. Archived from the original on 6 June 2017. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  11. ^ Ponomarev, Ilya. "List of votes on Dima Yakovlev law". LiveJournal. Archived from the original on 22 December 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  12. ^ Ventrell, Patrick (28 December 2012). "Statement on Russia's Yakovlev Act". United States Department of State. Archived from the original on 24 March 2021. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
  13. ^ "Putin signs bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children". Fox News. 28 December 2012. Archived from the original on 2 January 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
  14. ^ Jackman, Tom (17 December 2008). "On Stand, Man Tells Of Son's Death in Car". Washingtonpost.com. Archived from the original on 11 November 2018. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  15. ^ Turner, Lauren (5 September 2019). "Hot car death dad says new safety rules not enough". BBC News, Washington DC. Archived from the original on 20 July 2021. Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  16. ^ Ellen Barry (3 January 2009). "Russian Furor Over U.S. Adoptions Follows American's Acquittal in Boy's Death". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 9 June 2021. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  17. ^ "Dima Yakovlev law will be contested in Constitutional Court". Interfax.co.uk. Archived from the original on 9 March 2022. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  18. ^ Elder, Miriam (29 December 2012). "Church backs Vladimir Putin's ban on Americans adopting Russian children". The Observer. London. Archived from the original on 29 April 2021. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  19. ^ a b "Bargaining Chips: Why Russian Orphans Might Become Political Pawns Once Again". The Moscow Times. 2017. Archived from the original on 15 July 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  20. ^ Mark Nuckols (19 December 2012). "Putin shows Russian insecurity in signing ban on US adoption of orphans". CSMonitor.com. Archived from the original on 1 March 2021. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  21. ^ "Russian adoption ban set to devastate US families, orphans". Video.foxnews.com. 1 October 2006. Archived from the original on 8 March 2021. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  22. ^ Pesta, Abigail (28 December 2012). "With U.S. Adoption Ban, a Mother Fears for Russia's Abandoned Kids". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on 5 April 2017. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  23. ^ Sifferlin, Alexandra (28 December 2012). "Russia's Ban on U.S. Adoption Leaves American Families in Anguish". Healthland.time.com. Archived from the original on 4 March 2021. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  24. ^ "Houston families devastated by adoption ban". Khou.com. Archived from the original on 1 January 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  25. ^ Laurie Penny (28 December 2012). "Russia's ban on US adoption isn't about children's rights". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 9 June 2021. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  26. ^ "Herod's law". The Economist. 5 January 2013. ISSN 0013-0613. Archived from the original on 10 November 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  27. ^ "Russia: 'Dima Yakovlev' Bill in no one's best interests". Amnesty.org. Archived from the original on 13 January 2014. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  28. ^ "Russia: Reject Adoption Ban Bill". Human Rights Watch. 28 December 2012. Archived from the original on 25 December 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  29. ^ "Russians march against adoption ban". 3 News NZ. 14 January 2013. Archived from the original on 11 March 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  30. ^ "Interfax-Religion". Interfax-Religion. Archived from the original on 6 January 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  31. ^ "How Russian Adoptions Became a Controversial Topic". Time magazine. 2017. Archived from the original on 18 August 2021. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  32. ^ "Russian lawmaker says Moscow may lift adoption ban". USA TODAY. 2012. Archived from the original on 25 December 2020. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  33. ^ "10 Laws Russia Needs To Scrap". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. 2015. Archived from the original on 12 November 2020. Retrieved 27 April 2018.