Magnitsky Act

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Event.png Magnitsky Act  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
The Magnitsky Act.jpg
Film poster of the documentary by the same name, directed by Andrei Nekrasov.
Interest ofBill Browder

The International Magnitsky Act is a sanctions regime created by the Obama administration in 2012.


It was put in place at the behest of Bill Browder after he lobbied Senator John McCain for it. It massively expands the ability of nation states to unilaterally sanction and freeze the assets of individuals and limit their travel without due process of law.

Independent journalist Lee Stranahan has called it the "HSBC Bailout Act."[1] This refers to the Hong-Kong Shanghai Bank of China, which had money laundering operations going back to the Opium Wars of the 19th Century and took over much of the work of BCCI. HSBC had been ordered by the Russian courts to pay a substantial fine for money laundering, and the Act enshrined official opposition to this fine and similar court decisions into American - and later international law.

The first uses of the act were to impose sanctions on those who had picked up Russian assets formerly owned by Browder, Browder's clients, and Mikhail Khordokovsky.[2]

The act is named after Sergei Magnitsky who was a accountant for Firestone Duncan in Moscow. It passed under the false narrative pushed by Browder that Magnitsky was a whistleblower. It is possible that Magnitsky was a willing accomplice in a crime, but he also died in a Russian prison due to medical neglect.[3]. The focus on Magnitsky and his fate, or human rights, is in many ways a sideshow from the broader authorization various Magnitsky acts provide to governments; human rights are of no great concern to any administration when it comes to war crimes that invariably happen during a military conflict.

In the UK

On 21 February 2017 the UK House of Commons unanimously passed an amendment to the Criminal Finances Bill inspired by the Magnitsky Act that would allow the government to freeze the assets of international human rights violators in the UK.[4]

On 1 May 2018, the UK House of Commons, without opposition, added the "Magnitsky amendment" to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill that would allow the British government to impose sanctions on people deemed to have committed gross human rights violations.[5]

"Andrei Nekrasov Speaks Out", interview with the filmmaker who started out wholly believing the narrative about the death of Sergei Magnitsky, but then developed doubts when facts given by Bill Browder did not turn out to be true.[6]

Spiegel reporting

By 2019, the inconsistencies in Browder's story have become obvious to some. The mainstream publication Spiegel in Germany openly started to question the veracity of the facts Browder has laid out over the years.[7]


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:The Magnitsky Myth Explodedblog post16 September 2019Craig MurrayCraig Murray: I am offering a bottle of Lagavulin to anybody who can find me an honest and fair MSM report of this judgement reflecting that the whole story was built on lies.
File:Death of Sergey Magnitskey-Firestone Duncan.pdfDocumentSergei MagnitskyDeath notification about the demise of Sergei Magnitsky by Firestone Duncan which spells his name incorrectly.