Alexei Navalny has commented on the sentencing of Russian opposition politician and journalist Vladimir Kara-Murza, making a statement during a court hearing in his lawsuit against the penal colony. The statement was published on Team Navalny's social media accounts.
“I am deeply outraged by the sentence that was handed to Vladimir Kara-Murza today. He got 25 years [in prison]. I consider this sentence illegal, unconscionable and simply fascist.
I think that Vladimir Kara-Murza is being persecuted for political reasons. I want to express my support for him and his family members. I’m very worried about his health. I saw him after the second poisoning, and witnessed how his health was already almost destroyed.
The sentence he received is revenge for the fact that he did not die at the time, having survived two poisonings, which were committed, obviously – and this has been proven – by agents of Russia’s FSB.”
On 17 April, the Moscow City Court sentenced Vladimir Kara-Murza to a total of 25 years in prison in three separate cases. The politician was sentenced to 3 years behind bars for conducting activities of an undesirable organization, 7 years for spreading “fakes” about the Russian army, and another 18 years for treason against the Russian government. The politician was kept in a Moscow pre-trial detention centre on charges of spreading “fakes” about the Russian army since April 2022. The case was initiated due to Kara-Murza's speech in the Arizona House of Representatives on March 15, 2022. He was later charged with conducting activities of an “undesirable organization,” as he had held a conference in support of Russian political prisoners at the Sakharov Centre in Moscow on 27 October, 2021. The conference was allegedly funded by the Free Russia Foundation, an NGO.
On 11 April, Alexei Navalny was sent to serve a 15-day stint in a punishment cell for the 13th time. Navalny had previously been sent to the cell over his use of profanity (the word “f*ck”) in a conversation with a cellmate, as well as his violation of prison uniform standards, as he had failed to wear a jacket. Prisoners with hygiene issues and ill with the flu were repeatedly placed in the cell with Navalny during his previous stints in the SHU. On one occasion, a man with a mental disorder was placed in an adjoining cell, screaming day and night.