My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Yes, there may be sceptics. But I have no doubt that the events leading up to the torture and murder of Russian tax expert, Sergei Magnitsky, and Russia’s ‘red notice’ to capture and/or kill author, Bill Browder, is true.
Reads like a Soviet-era spy thriller, only this story really happened.
As a result of Browder’s high-profile activism and persistence, many countries have now enacted ‘Magnitsky laws’, which sanction Russian oligarchs by freezing assets held in those countries.
If you are struggling to understand international relations between the so-called western countries and Putin’s Russia, do yourself a favour and read this book.
It is shocking and compelling in equal proportions.
Bad People – and How to Be Rid of Them: A Plan B for Human Rights by Geoffrey Robertson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
While this book provides a history of human rights dating right back to the 17th Century, the real background to Geoffrey Robertson’s treatise about how to stop human rights ‘baddies’ is the torture and death of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian tax expert murdered by his own government for exposing fraud and corruption. Magnitsky’s story – and it is well worth knowing – is told in detail by former client, supporter, and fellow target, Bill Browden, in his books ‘Red Notice’ and ‘Freezing Order’.
Human rights lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson, became involved in Browden’s quest for justice. Since, several countries, including the US, the EU (in December 2020), and the UK have passed ‘Magnitsky laws’, which ‘name and shame’ tyrants who perpetrate these crimes against humanity when the usual forms of justice fail. In 2021, the Australian government followed suit and also passed Magnitsky-inspired legislation.
Robertson’s book is not easy to fully absorb. Many of the names and events will not be generally known. However it is well worth a read. Its currency – Robertson covers human rights developments up to March 2021 – is noteworthy. While the subject matter is weighty, his droll humour sometimes raises a smile.