Vladimir Kara-Murza given 25 years in prison for condemning war in Ukraine

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Vladimir Kara-Murza, a prominent Russian human rights advocate and Kremlin critic, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after publicly condemning Moscow’s war in Ukraine, Russian state news agency TASS reported on Monday.

Kara-Murza was initially detained one year ago, hours after an interview with CNN in which he criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “regime of murderers.”

He was on trial for criminal offenses that included treason, spreading fake news about the Russian army, and facilitating activities of an undesirable organization. Russia criminalized criticism of the military following its full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year.

Kara-Murza’s detention has been decried by international human rights organizations and prompted sanctions by the Biden administration last month.

Monday’s sentencing draws further attention on Putin’s brutal crackdown against freedom of expression, which has intensified since he invaded Ukraine last February.

Kara-Murza has long been critical of Putin and has survived two poisonings.

In March 2022, he spoke before the Arizona House of Representatives against the war, and in an interview with CNN in April 2022, the political dissident condemned Putin’s regime for targeting critics. He was arrested shortly afterwards for “failing to obey the orders of law enforcement,” according to his wife.

This is a developing story. It will be updated…

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