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Protests in Russia against adoption ban
January 14, 2013, 10:55 am


Protesters in downtown Moscow on January 13, 2013. [Xinhua]

Thousands of Russian activists gathered in downtown Moscow on Sunday to protest Russia’s ban on US adoptions.

The ban is seen as part of a wider response by Moscow to the Magnitsky Act – a US law that imposes travel bans and other sanctions on Russian officials suspected of human rights abuses.

The law was signed into force by US President Barack Obama late last year.

State Duma lawmakers said the law was a response to what they called the inaction of US officials over the deaths of 19 Russian children adopted by Americans since 1999.

Over 45,000 Russian children have been adopted by US families in that period, according to the US State Department.

But the adoption ban proposal has drawn a furious reaction from human rights groups and a number of people were detained in Moscow in late December as they protested against the bill outside parliament.

The Kremlin, on Sunday, said it shares concerns about Russian orphans voiced by protesters at a march in downtown Moscow on Sunday, but warns against calls to “disband” the Russian parliament.

“People, who express concerns about the fate of orphans, are absolutely right,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with Dozhd TV (Rain TV) in comments on Sunday’s march.

At the same time, Peskov said, people should be well informed that the Russian leadership has voiced plans to stimulate adoptions in Russia, easing the adoption process for Russian nationals.

“It is not just a ban, but an intention to create necessary conditions inside the country,” Peskov said.

Speaking on calls by the marchers for parliament dissolution, Peskov said, “Such calls cannot deserve attention and cannot be respected.”

Source: Agencies