Press Statement from U.S. Embassy Moscow
Vladimir Kara-Murza’s Second Birthday in Detention
September 7, 2023
September 7 is a difficult milestone for Russian pro-democracy activist Vladimir Kara-Murza. Today, he turns 42 years old, marking his second birthday in detention, while he undergoes a perilous transfer to a penal colony after the denial of his appeal of his unjustified 25-year sentence.
Mr. Kara-Murza should not be in prison in the first place. He has done nothing more than disagree with the policies of his government and express his opinions publicly — fundamental freedoms enshrined in both the Russian constitution and international treaties to which Russia is a party. Like hundreds of other courageous Russians who have been detained for exercising their basic rights as citizens, he is a casualty of the Kremlin’s attempt to silence dissent and to make an example of those with the courage to speak out against Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine. As Kara-Murza has argued, speaking truth to power is the act of a patriot, not an “enemy” of the state.
The United States strongly condemns the politically motivated case against Mr. Kara-Murza and the Russian government’s escalating campaign of repression against those who seek to have a voice in the direction of their country. We renew our call for Mr. Kara-Murza’s immediate release, as well as the release of the more than 600 political prisoners in Russia.