Russia: opposition politician faces possible 15-year jail term for 'fake news' about Ukraine
Veteran Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza is thought to have been the target of past poisoning attempts by Russia’s security services
Opposition politician is already in jail, falsely accused of disobeying a police officer
‘This investigation is an act of political poison’ - Marie Struthers
Responding to a new criminal investigation launched today against Vladimir Kara-Murza - a member of Russia’s political opposition and a vocal opponent of the war in Ukraine - for sharing information about the actions of the Russian military in Ukraine, Marie Struthers, Amnesty International’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia Director, said:
“This investigation is an act of political poison that seeks to terrify and silence all opponents of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.
“The Russian authorities must drop all charges against Vladimir Kara-Murza as they stem solely from his right to freedom of expression. He must be immediately and unconditionally released.
“The Kremlin’s repressive new law that criminalises the sharing of ‘fake news’ about the actions of the Russian army must be abolished. The very existence of this law is an affront to human rights.”
‘Fake news’ investigation
Earlier today, the Russian authorities launched a criminal investigation - under Article 207.3 of Russia’s criminal code - against Vladimir Kara-Murza for sharing “fake news” about the actions of the Russian military in Ukraine. Depending on the exact charges, if found guilty he could face up to 15 years in prison. Kara-Murza is currently serving a 15-day prison sentence after being falsely accused of disobeying a police officer.
Kara-Murza was hospitalised twice in 2015 and 2017. On each occasion, he was in a grave condition and showed symptoms consistent with poisoning. The investigative reporting group Bellingcat said he had been followed by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) before these suspected poisoning incidents. In August 2020, the FSB also allegedly poisoned political activist Aleksei Navalny.