On April 17, 2023, Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian opposition politician and journalist, was sentenced to 25 years in prison after being found guilty of treason and other offenses, including spreading false information about the Russian army and “participation in the activities of an undesirable organisation”. Kara-Murza, who holds both Russian and British passports, had been a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin for years and claimed to have been poisoned twice by Russian operatives in the past. The trial and sentencing of Kara-Murza represent the latest example of a broader crackdown on opposition voices in Russia, which has intensified since Putin sent troops to Ukraine in 2022.
James Cleverly, the Foreign Secretary, said in a statement:
“Vladimir Kara-Murza bravely denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for what it was – a blatant violation of international law and the UN Charter. Russia’s lack of commitment to protecting fundamental human rights, including freedom of expression, is alarming. We continue to urge Russia to adhere to its international obligations including Vladimir Kara-Murza’s entitlement to proper healthcare.
I pay tribute to Mr Kara-Murza and his family, including his wife Evgenia and her unwavering commitment to raising her husband’s cause on the international stage. The UK will continue to support them and to call for Mr Kara-Murza’s immediate release.”
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