On 29 December 2014, the US State Department held a Special Briefing to announce that Secretary Kerry transmitted a report to Congress pursuant to the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act (“Magnitsky Act”), which authorises sanctions on individuals determined by the US government to be involved in the detention, abuse or death of Mr Magnitsky, as well as individuals responsible for gross human rights abuses against persons attempting to expose corruption in the Russian government or promote internationally-recognised human rights in Russia.

The report included a list of four Russian officials now added to the lists of persons sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act. Two officials were designated because they were implicated in the death of Mr Magnitsky, and the other two are Chechen officials implicated in the kidnapping, torture and later framing of a noted Chechen activist earlier this year.  The State Department noted that, going forward, although there will be fewer future designations of persons tied to Mr Magnitsky’s death, the State Department is committed to continuing to administer the Magnitsky Act by turning to designations of those associated with gross human rights violations.