The United Kingdom has condemned the politically-motivated conviction and sentencing of British dual-national Vladimir Kara-Murza in a Moscow court today.
Vladimir Kara-Murza is an opposition politician, journalist, and human rights activist in Russia and he has received wide recognition for his work, including the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize.
He has previously faced two attempts to poison him. Mr Kara-Murza was arrested and jailed by Russian authorities in April 2022. He was convicted with politically motivated charges including spreading “knowingly false information” about the Russian armed forces; involvement with an “undesirable” organisation; and treason, and has been sentenced to 25 years in prison in Russian today.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office has summoned the Russian Ambassador, Andrey Kelin, today. It will make clear that the UK considers Mr Kara-Murza’s conviction to be contrary to Russia’s international obligations on human rights, including the right to a fair trial.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said:
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.
The UK has already sanctioned the judge that presided over the trial for previous involvement in human rights violations, and will consider further measures for holding to account those involved in Vladimir Kara-Murza’s detention and mistreatment.
- British Embassy officials have attended Mr Kara-Murza’s court hearings in Moscow throughout the year. FCDO Officials have consistently raised Mr Kara-Murza’s case with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian Embassy, and will continue to do so.
- The UK sanctioned Sergei Podoprigorov, the judge that presided over Mr Kara-Murza’s trial, and Dmitry Komnov, the head of the detention centre where Mr Kara-Murza is being held, in 2020 under our Global Human Rights Regime for involvement in human rights violations against Sergei Magnitsky.
- With international partners, the UK has invoked the OSCE’s Moscow Mechanism which evidenced Russia’s efforts to wage a campaign of repression against its own people. We are also taking forward the report’s recommendations, and have helped secure a United Nations Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur. They will be charged with undertaking country visits, acting on individual cases of reported violations and concerns of a broader nature, and raising public awareness and providing advice for technical cooperation.