Human rights violations in Russia: EU lists individuals responsible for Vladimir Kara-Murza’s sentencing and degrading treatment

22:00, Monday, 05 June, 2023
Human rights violations in Russia: EU lists individuals responsible for Vladimir Kara-Murza’s sentencing and degrading treatment

Today the Council imposed restrictive measures against nine individuals, under the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime, for sentencing the Russian opposition politician, democracy activist and outspoken Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza to 25 years in prison on politically motivated charges and false allegations. The EU strongly condemns the ruling and calls on Russia to immediately and unconditionally release Vladimir Kara-Murza and all those imprisoned for politically motivated charges.

Vladimir Kara-Murza’s outrageously harsh prison sentence clearly demonstrates the political misuse of the Russian judiciary in order to suppress civil society and independent voices opposing Russia’s illegitimate war of aggression against Ukraine. Today’s sanctions decision demonstrates once again the European Union’s determination to stand in solidarity with all those who are prosecuted, imprisoned or intimidated for fighting for human rights, speaking the truth.

Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy
     The individuals listed today include the Deputy Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation responsible for enforcing the “foreign agents” legislation that has been at the centre of a wave of repressive laws cracking down on independent civil society, media as well as dissenting individuals. Judges and other members of the judiciary are also included, as well as a senior officer of the Russian penitentiary system responsible for the degrading treatment, which has led to a considerable deterioration of Kara-Murza’s health.

EU restrictive measures under the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime now apply to a total of 43 individuals and 15 entities. Those designated are subject to an asset freeze and EU citizens and companies are forbidden from making funds available to them. Natural persons are additionally subject to a travel ban, which prevents them from entering or transiting through EU territories.

The EU is concerned about the continuing deterioration of the human rights situation in Russia. Russia’s unjustified and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine has amplified internal repression in Russia, drastically limiting the freedom of opinion and expression and media freedom and introducing war censorship.

The EU continues to strongly condemn the severe expansion of restrictive legislation and systematic repression against civil society and human rights defenders, as well as unabated crackdown on independent media, individual journalists, political opposition members and other critical voices.

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