The Treasury Department has identified 18 Russians to be targeted for sanctions and visa bans because of their alleged violations of human rights.

The list follows up on legislation signed into law by President Obama in December holding Russian officials accountable for human rights abuses. The Russian government has strongly objected to the law and has threatened to retaliate with its own sanctions.

The act is named for Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who was arrested in 2008 after accusing Russian police of corruption. He died in prison the next year, allegedly after being beaten and denied medical treatment.

Russia quickly reacted to passage of the act, which was linked to a U.S.-Russia trade measure, by banning U.S. adoptions of Russian children.