Rubio, Durbin, Colleagues Call On Blinken to Sanction Those Responsible for Russian Opposition Leader Vladimir Kara-Murza’s Imprisonment
Aug 04 2022
U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanding those responsible for his poisoning and imprisonment be held accountable under Magnitsky-authorized sanctions.
“Mr. Kara-Murza is a Russian patriot who has worked tirelessly for decades to advance the cause of freedom, democracy, and human rights for the Russian people. He, along with his murdered Russian opposition colleague Boris Nemtsov, was a key voice in advocating for the Sergei Magnitsky Act (P.L. 112-208), which provided for sanctions against Russian human rights violators. For his efforts and, most recently, peaceful criticisms of the Russian war in Ukraine, Mr. Kara-Murza has faced multiple poisoning attempts and up to 15 years in jail. As such, we request the timely imposition of Magnitsky Act-related sanctions against all Russian officials responsible for his poisoning as well as his current arrest, jailing, and prosecution,” the senators wrote.
“On April 11, five police officers arrested Mr. Kara-Murza in front of his Moscow home and denied his right to an attorney, and the following day he was spuriously sentenced to 15 days in prison for disobeying a police order. On April 22, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation charged him with violating the prohibition on statements condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years of detention in a penitentiary system that human rights groups have criticized for widespread torture, ill-treatment, and suspicious or deliberate deaths of prisoners. Those Russian police, intelligence, security, court, and top-level government officials responsible for his absurd and cowardly detention also deserve immediate assessment for sanctioning under the Magnitsky Act for which Mr. Kara-Murza so bravely advocated,” the senators continued.
Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) also signed the letter.
In May, Rubio and Durbin led colleagues in passing a Senate resolution honoring Kara-Murza, urging the U.S. and its allies to secure his release and that of Alexei Navalny and other Russian political prisoners, and calling for the U.S. government to support the cause of democracy and human rights in Russia.
Want more? Read the full letter here.