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Russian opposition politician Kara-Murza sentenced to 25 years in prison

Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian opposition politician and journalist who has been held in Moscow detention center on charges of “treason” and distribution of “fakes” since April 2022, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison by the Moscow City Court. The sentence includes three years for activities related to an undesirable organization, seven years for spreading “fakes” about the army, and 18 years forhigh treason, the overall prison term being derived by partial summation of the individual sentences.

The prosecution also requested 25 years in prison, lawyer Maria Eismont says.

The hearing was scheduled for March 20, but was canceled. Previously, Kara-Murza's deteriorating health prevented him from being brought from the detention center to the Moscow City Court building. He has been diagnosed with polyneuropathy, which resulted from two serious poisonings he suffered in 2015 and 2017. Furthermore, Kara-Murza started experiencing numbness in his extremities following his confinement in the punishment cell, where he was placed for allegedly “lying on his bunk after the wake up call.”

Vladimir Kara-Murza has been in detention since April 2022 on charges of spreading “fakes”. The authorities cited the possibility of him leaving the country and his British citizenship as reasons for his arrest. The court ruled that his speech in the Arizona House of Representatives on March 15, 2022 was the basis for the charges against him. Later, he was accused of conducting activities of an undesirable organization for holding a conference in support of Russian political prisoners at the Sakharov Center in Moscow on October 27, 2021. The conference was allegedly funded by the Free Russia Foundation, an NGO.

EU High Representative Josep Borrell commented on the politician's case and claimed human rights violations in Russia.

“Political activist Vladimir Kara-Murza is in prison. His health is deteriorating. He faces an unjust 25-year sentence on politically motivated charges. Russia must repeal repressive laws and release Kara-Murza and all other political prisoners.”

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