Russian opposition activist Kara-Murza sent to jail for 25 years
Moscow/Geneva/Washington: A Moscow court handed down a 25-year prison sentence against Vladimir Vladimirovich Kara-Murza an opposition politician, journalist, author, and filmmaker.
Kara-Murza, who serves as vice-chairman of Open Russia, an NGO founded by an exiled Russian businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky who now resides in London, was tried on charges linked to his criticism of the Russian war in Ukraine and was found guilty of treason. He, however, denied all charges against him.
In Geneva, the United Nations Human Rights Chief Volker Türk claimed that the sentence against Kara-Murza “is another blow to the rule of law and civic space in the Russian Federation”. Türk stated that the charges against the opposition leader appeared related to the” legitimate exercise of his right to freedom of opinion, expression, and association, including his public criticism of the Russian Federation’s armed attack against Ukraine”.
“No one should be deprived of their liberty for exercising their human rights, and I call on the Russian authorities to release him without delay,” the UN Human Rights Commissioner said and demanded that as long as Kara-Murza continued to be detained, he must be treated with humanity and respect for his dignity.
In Washington, the United States Department of State issued a statement claiming that the conviction of Kara-Murza was “politically motivated”.
Condemning the sentencing of Kara-Murza to 25 years in prison, the US said he was punished for “speaking out against the Russian government’s war of aggression against Ukraine”.
The US today demanded the immediate release of what it claimed to be the more than 400 political prisoners in Russia, and stated that Kara-Murza was “yet another target of the Russian government’s escalating campaign of repression”.
Vedant Patel, Principal Deputy Spokesperson at the US State Department said Washington reaffirms its solidarity with Kara-Murza and “all brave advocates of a brighter future for Russia who are held unjustly, including Aleksey Navalny, Ilya Yashin, and many others who serve their country and their fellow citizens at great personal cost by boldly standing up for human rights and fundamental freedoms”.
The US today said it joins the families, friends, and supporters of the detained opposition leaders in Russia and around the world in demanding their immediate release.
– global bihari bureau