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PACE general rapporteur concerned by ongoing treatment of Vladimir Kara-Murza

Vladimir Kara-Murza
©Václav Havel Library / Ondřej Němec

PACE’s General Rapporteur for Political Prisoners, Sunna Ævarsdóttir (Iceland, SOC), has expressed deep concern at the ongoing treatment of Russian opposition politician and historian Vladimir Kara-Murza, who was also the winner of the 2022 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize.

“Last week the Russian authorities started a prison transfer of Vladimir Kara-Murza. Prison transfers in Russia can take weeks or months, during which prisoners cannot meet anyone and have little or no communication with the outside world. The European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly highlighted the widespread abuse of the prisoner transfer process in Russia, which often involves sending prisoners on unnecessary and extremely lengthy journeys, in overcrowded conditions, without adequate access to toilets, medical supplies and medical attention,” Ms Ævarsdóttir said.

“On 6th September the Russian authorities stated that Mr Kara-Murza was being transferred almost 3,000 kilometres from Moscow to a detention centre in Omsk, from where he would then be transferred somewhere else. However, the detention centre in Omsk denies that he is there. Mr Kara-Murza cannot communicate with his family or his lawyers and they do not know where he is. I am concerned about his access to medical assistance for his underlying health condition.

Last week it was Vladimir Kara-Murza’s birthday. The prison transfer means that he will not be able to receive messages of support – including from his family, but also from people around the world. I am deeply concerned by this latest act of inhumanity by the Russian authorities and once again call on them to secure Mr Kara-Murza’s immediate release.”