MOSCOW, December 13 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Foreign Ministry critized courts in the United States on Thursday for applying what it says are “double standards” in dealing with Russian child abuse cases.
“Unfortunately, the US judicial system fails to ensure...adequate punishment for crimes against adopted Russian children,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Foreign Ministry statement condemned “leniency” showed to those foster parents accused of abusing children adopted from Russia, who have been given mild sentences or even released.
The Russian parliament introduced on Monday a draft bill targeting Americans alleged to have violated Russians’ human rights, in response to the Magnitsky Act, a bill passed by the US Senate last week that would slap sanctions on Russian officials accused of involvement in the death of jailed lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.
The Russian bill would see alleged US rights abusers banned from entering Russia, their assets in Russia seized and the operations of their companies in Russia suspended.
Vyacheslav Nikonov of the United Russia party has proposed naming the bill after Dima Yakovlev, a Russian orphan who died of heatstroke in July 2008 after being negligently locked in a car in Virginia by his foster father.
Miles Harrison, 49, was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter after a court accepted that he had forgotten the boy was in the car and driven to his office without dropping his son at daycare.
At least 19 Russian adoptees have been killed by their adoptive parents in the United States since adoptions started in the early 1990s, Russia’s children ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said. Several abuse cases made headlines in Russia over the past years, prompting a temporary moratorium on adoptions by Americans and an overhaul of the adoption system.