How Putin Turned Bill Browder Into a Wanted Man

The Background 

Bill Browder is officially a wanted man. The very vocal critic of Vladimir Putin has been leading an international campaign against Russia and its government since 2009, when his lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, was murdered in one of the country’s prisons. Since then, Browder has openly criticized the Russian government, accusing them of human rights violations. Just last week, Ottawa passed the Canadian version of the U.S. Magnitsky Act, which allows our government to sanction human-rights abusers around the world — and one day before it was to take effect, Putin had Browder added to Interpol’s wanted list. Globe and Mail

What Else You Need to Know

The story of Browder, Magnitsky and Putin is a long one…with a lot of chapters (and they’re riveting. His book had us on the edge of our seats). Putin has tried to put Browder on Interpol’s wanted list five times, however the organization threw out the previous four attempts after they realized they were “politically motivated.” Until this fifth notice is tossed out (if it’s tossed out), Browder is unable to leave his home in Britain — peculiar timing considering he was supposed to come to Canada on Oct. 31 with Magnitsky’s family to thank those responsible for the bill.

What’s Next?

Russia is peeved about the Magnitsky laws — and isn’t hiding it. In a report released Oct. 4, a spokesperson said, “We warn again that in case the pressure of the sanctions put on us increases…we will widen likewise the list of Canadian officials banned from entering Russia.” Browder may have been the first, but there’s a good chance he won’t be the last.