The Freezing of Russian State Assets in the Era of Human Rights Watch: Kara-Murza’s Call on the Kremlin
One year ago, Kara-Murza was freed hours after he criticized the Russian president in an interview with CNN.
The sentencing will likely draw further international condemnation of Putin. Last week, Hugh Williamson, the Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement that the dissident was facing prison time for “no more than raising his voice and elevating the voices of others in Russia who disagree with the Kremlin, its war in Ukraine, and its escalating repression within Russia.”
Monday’s sentencing draws further attention on Putin’s brutal crackdown against freedom of expression, which has intensified since he invaded Ukraine last February.
In 2012 the charge of treason in Russia was extended to include any assistance to a foreign state or international organization. It was used against Kara-Murza because of his condemnation of Russia.
The State Department will form a team to work on securing Evan Gershkovich’s release, after the U.S. deemed him to have been wrongly held in Russia. The Gershkovich family spoke out in a video interview.
The original Magnitsky Act, signed into law in December 2012, blocks entry into the US and freezes the assets of certain Russian government officials and businessmen accused of human rights violations. The law was subsequently expanded to give global scope to the Russia-focused legislation.
Living in the darkness: The story of Kara-Murza’s trial in the Kremlin regime, and its impact on his health
Kara-Murza said he blamed himself for not being able to convince enough of his “compatriots” and politicians of democratic countries of the danger that the current regime in the Kremlin poses for Russia and the world.
He hoped the day would come when the darkness would be removed from the country. “Even today, even in the darkness surrounding us, even sitting in this cage, I love my country and believe in our people,” he added. “I believe that we can walk this path.”
Kara-Murza said that for a person who has not committed any crimes, a jury would only be able to decide if they had committed a crime. “But I do not ask this court for anything. I know the verdict. I knew it a year ago when I saw people in black uniforms and black masks running after my car in the rearview mirror. It’s the price for speaking up in Russia today.
The health of Kara-Murza, who has lost 37 pounds and is suffering from dizziness, has been a constant concern throughout the trial.
While in pretrial detention, a doctor diagnosed the condition as polyneuropathy — a malfunctioning of peripheral nerves throughout the body. It’s a condition that can be caused by many different triggers, including diseases, drugs or toxins.
Bringing Back the Navalny: The Crimes of Mordecay in Moscow after Boris Nemtsov’s Death
He told NPR in an interview that he thinks people connected to the Russian special services have been poisoned.
Indeed, Kara-Murza has been no stranger to the risks of opposition politics in Russia. Boris Nemtsov, his friend and mentor, was assassinated in Moscow in 2015.
John McCain had a close friendship with Kara-Murza and later served as a pallbearer at his funeral.
Yet, even from pretrial detention, Kara-Murza maintained a public presence — authoring opinion pieces for the Washington Post in which he expressed confidence that Russia would ultimately emerge from the latest repressive chapter in its history.
The Navalny’s family and followers are waiting on news regarding his health, a week after associates sounded the alarm.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is on a tour of Latin America. He is going to chair debates at the U.N. Security Council in New York next week.
Russia toughened up its military draft rules, banning conscripts from leaving the country and increasing penalties for draftees who fail to report for service.
Ukrainian war news april 17: Ukraine’s largest and worst attack since Ukraine launched its invasion in April 2001 (with a commentary by Benysh Zelenskyy)
According to British Defense Ministry intelligence, Russian military and mercenaries have intensified their assault on the eastern Ukrainian town of Bakhmut. It said Ukrainian defenses held in the town’s western districts but its troops made orderly withdrawals from positions they conceded. The eastern Ukrainian town of Sloviansk was bombed by Russia, which killed over a dozen civilians. And in the Russian border city of Belgorod, a thermal power plant caught fire in an apparent drone attack.
Ukraine celebrated Orthodox Easter for the second time since Russia launched its large-scale invasion last year. An adviser to the presidency said that Ukrainian people celebrated a “big Easter POW swap.” 130 Ukrainian soldiers were released.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal visited Washington, meeting with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and others. Zelenskyy spoke via video link from Washington to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund conference. Earlier, a bipartisan delegation of U.S. senators met with Zelenskyy in Kyiv.
A graphic video purportedly showing the decapitation of Ukrainian soldiers circulated on social media, drawing strong condemnation from Ukrainian leaders and the United Nations human rights mission in Ukraine.
Brittney Griner is working on a memoir about her prison time in Russia. She is going to play for the Phoenix Mercury next season after being released from a Russian penal colony and returning home in December.
The State of Ukraine: Past, Present, Future and Observational Highlights from the NPR ’96 Special Special Special Relativity
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