Human Rights – The US Magnitsky List

April 15, 2013

A very short post today because I am decorating the balcony – the weather is good enough and the good lady’s “lobbying” has eventually ground me down into compliance!

It also has nothing to do with Ukraine (at least directly or currently).

However, there has been a lot in the press in the build up to – and subsequent release of – The US Magnitsky List.

The US public release was naturally followed by a public Russian list of US officials also considered to be “human rights abusers” ranging from those involved in Guantanamo, those involved  in”enhanced interrogation techniques” and legal opinion allowing it, to the Victor Bout prosecution.

Indeed an expected Russian response.

However, if we are to presume that human rights are at the core of the US Magnitsky law and list, then there is one very poignant question to be asked –

Will it advance human rights in any way whatsoever in Russia?

With Russia responding with nothing more than a list of its own as expected, quite obviously the answer is clearly not!

Therefore was it a policy driven by human rights – or a policy driven by other motives considering the very predictable short, medium and long term outcomes?

For certain human rights within Russia will gain nothing from the US Magnitsky Law or list, regardless of the real or perceived motivation behind them – in fact the effects are likely to be sadly quite counterproductive.


  1. Good questions, good blog!

    • Is not the core of any policy decision after “why are we doing this” – “what effect it will have?”

      Looking at the list it seems nothing short of a token gesture with regards to human rights abusers in Russia and “justice” for Magnitsky.

      It will in no way advance human rights in Russia.

      Now there’s a seed for an article for you for The New Statesman LOL

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