European Interest

Parliament: Russia must release Vladimir Kara-Murza, Alexei Navalny and all other political prisoners

Vladimir Kara-Murza @vkaramurza
On 17 April, a Russian court sentenced Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian political activist, journalist, author, and filmmaker, to 25 years in prison.

On Thursday, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the respect for human rights in Russia.

Following the recent sentencing of Russian-British journalist Vladimir Kara-Murza to 25 years in prison for having criticised Vladimir Putin’s regime, MEPs strongly condemn this politically motivated conviction and demand his immediate and unconditional release. They make the same demand for Russian opposition activist and 2021 Sakharov Prize laureate Alexei Navalny, who remains incarcerated in a penal colony, as well as all other political prisoners in Russia.

While noting that the health of both Mr Kara-Murza and Mr Navalny is rapidly deteriorating due to mistreatment and lack of proper medical care, MEPs denounce the escalation of human rights violations by the Russian regime and condemn the ongoing crackdown on government critics, human rights defenders and independent journalists in the country. Due to this, Parliament calls on the UN Human Rights Council to conduct an immediate investigation into the acts of inhuman imprisonment, torture and murder of political opponents in Russia.

In addition, MEPs want EU member states in the Council to adopt tough sanctions under the EU’s global human rights sanctions regime against Russian judges, prosecutors and others responsible for the arbitrary prosecutions, detentions and torture in politically motivated trials. They also urge EU countries to provide humanitarian visas and other support to Russian dissidents at risk of political prosecution.

The resolution was adopted by 508 votes in favour, 14 against and 31 abstentions.

For more details, the full text will be available here.

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