Russians sanctioned over human rights violations

The United States is slapping five Russians with sanctions under a law that lets the US target violators of human rights.

The US Treasury Department is designating the Russians under the Magnitsky Act.

Congress passed the law in 2012 in response to the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. He died in prison after exposing a tax fraud scheme involving Russian officials.

Three of the five being targeted are accused of involvement in the criminal conspiracy that Mr Magnitsky exposed.

The other two are accused of "gross violations of internationally recognised human rights" in Chechnya.

The Treasury said one was allegedly involved in abusing gay men in Chechnya in 2017.

The sanctions being announced on Wednesday are separate from the "Global Magnitsky Act" that lets the US punish human rights violators worldwide.