Damien Cottier (Switzerland, ALDE), the Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), has made the following statement:
“I strongly condemn the arbitrary arrest of Vladimir Kara-Murza, a well-known Russian opposition politician and historian and close associate of the late Deputy Prime Minister and liberal politician Boris Nemtsov.
Mr Kara-Murza has already twice fallen victim to unexplained dangerous poisoning incidents, which left him comatose. Shortly before his arrest, he addressed our committee on the issue of political prisoners in the Russian Federation.
Now he is himself imprisoned and prosecuted on spurious grounds, for allegedly spreading ‘deliberate false information’ about the Russian army. Under a recently promulgated law, this can lead to 5-10 years in prison. In fact, all he did was to denounce the shelling of civilians, a gross violation of international law.
On behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, I call on the Russian authorities to immediately release Vladimir Kara-Murza.”