This week’s Elections seminar with Professor Lyn Ragsdale has a new time! The October 29 and November 5 sessions of the course remain at 6:30. Please contact us with any questions. Learn more here.
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Bill Browder: Kremlin Enemy, Human Rights Campaigner co-sponsored with the World Affairs Council of Houston
Monday, February 4, registration at 6:30 P.M., program 7:00–8:00 P.M. AD Players Theatre, 5420 Westheimer Rd, 77056
Bill Browder rouses Vladimir Putin to fury as few other non-Russians do. At the famous press conference featuring Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump in Helsinki, Mr. Browder was one of two people Putin wanted extradited to Russia for interrogation.
The American-born hedge fund manager moved to Russia in 1996, founded Hermitage Capital, and had a long and successful career there until 2005. But he angered the Russian government by criticizing the management of companies in which his fund held shares, and began to expose the way in which venal Russian oligarchs were enriching themselves.
Russia abruptly annulled his visa in 2005. Browder hired lawyer Serge Magnitsky to represent his fund’s interests, and Mr. Magnitsky began filing criminal complaints and testifying in public. He was arrested in 2008, held in abysmal conditions, developed serious medical conditions, and died in 2009 after beatings and neglect.
In response, Mr. Browder lobbied successfully to have the U.S. Congress pass the MagnitskyAct, sanctioning those responsible for Magnitsky’s death. Several other nations have passed similar legislation since then, and in 2017, Congress passed the Global Magnitsky Act targeting human rights abuses worldwide. In response, Russia has charged Browder with numerous crimes, and has tried to engineer his arrest through Interpol.
For his part, Mr. Browder has written a memoir titled Red Notice that has been described as “riveting,” and is continuing his campaign against Russian corruption and human rights abuses. He is also trying to make sure, as he told the National Review, that “if anything happens to me, Vladimir Putin is going to be blamed.”