A Kremlin Critic Gets 25 Years in Prison
The sentence of Vladimir Kara-Murza is not only harsh. The Kremlin is taking revenge on its opponents.
On Apr. 17, A court in Moscow sentenced Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Kremlin critic and Washington Post Opinions contributor, to 25 years in prison for his criticism of the War In Ukraine. Kara-Murza, a politician, journalist, and historian, was sentenced for spreading "fakes" about the army, taking part in an "undesirable organization," and treason. The sentence is the longest one handed down so far to an anti-war critic. Barring the unexpected, Kara-Murza, a parent to three children, will be released when he is 66.
Kara-Murza is a dual Russian-British citizen and a U.S. resident (his family lives outside Washington). He pushed for the U.S. Congress to pass the Magnitsky Act; legislation that facilitated sanctions targeting Russian human rights violators. He returned to Russia after the war at tremendous personal risk; he had survived two poisoning attempts in Moscow, where he lived part of the time. He was arrested on April 11, 2022. Since being detained, his lawyers say that he has lost 22 kilograms.
Kara-Murza's sentence stands out in another way: it is yet another indication that there is no protection anymore for Western citizens in Russia.
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