US Lawmakers Demand Release of Putin’s Political Prisoner

On the second anniversary of Russian political prisoner Vladimir Kara-Murza’s incarceration for criticizing the Kremlin, a coalition of US politicians have demanded his release.

After delivering a speech to the Arizona House of Representatives in April 2022, Kara-Murza was imprisoned upon his return to Russia. He endured two poisoning attempts, which he attributes to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian authorities are continuing their assault on internal opposition, and Kara-Murza, who resides in the IK-6 maximum-security penitentiary colony in Siberia under solitary confinement, was sentenced to 25 years for treason and other related offenses last April.

After Kara-Murza spoke out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 in Arizona, the Moscow City Court found him guilty of high treason for spreading intentionally misleading information about the Russian Armed Forces and the Russian government.

Senator Cardin (D-MD) and other senators demanded Kara-Murza’s release in a letter submitted to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

According to Grigory Vaypan, a Russian human rights lawyer and Democracy Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis, Putin has made Kara-Murza his top political prisoner, and his life is in imminent danger after the alleged murder of Navalny showed the world that Putin’s regime is prepared to kill political prisoners in Russia.

He is becoming worse by the day.  He is now incarcerated and placed in solitary confinement, a punishment that is lengthy and almost permanent. According to Vaypan, he may spend months confined to his little jail cell, and his health will only deteriorate from the consequences of the two poisonings.

Memorial, a human rights organization in Russia, estimates that there are now 700 political detainees in the country.  To discourage political prisoners from speaking out against the government, they are punished by solitary confinement, deprivation of food, messages, phone calls, and visits from family members.