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25-year sentence for Russian journalist
Pic: Shutterstock

21 Apr 2023 / human rights Print

25-year sentence for Russian journalist

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) has condemned a 25-year prison sentence handed down to Russian journalist and opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza by the Moscow City Court earlier this week.

The IBAHRI describes the journalist as an outspoken critic of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, who has reported widely on “the international-law violations perpetrated by the Russian military against the people of Ukraine”.

A dual Russian-British national, Kara-Murza was found guilty on the charges of treason, dissemination of “false information” about the conduct of the Russian armed forces, and involvement with an “undesirable organisation”.

The human-right body says that the charges stem from the pro-democracy activist exercising his human rights, while performing a legitimate function as a journalist.


IBAHRI co-chair Anne Ramberg said: “The IBAHRI is deeply concerned about the chilling effect the prosecution of Vladimir Kara-Murza will have on the press and media freedom in Russia.”

She described his conviction as “an unacceptable affront to freedom of expression”, that threatened the existence of a free press in Russia.

Ramberg pointed out that, under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Russia was bound to respect the “right to hold opinions without interference” and the “right to freedom of expression”.

The IBAHRI says that the prosecution of Kara-Murza has formed part of a wider crackdown by the Russian government on dissenting journalists, free speech, and the right to protest.

Gazette Desk
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