On April 11, shortly after CNN aired an interview with Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian opposition leader and member of the Forum 2000 International Coalition of Democratic Renewal (ICDR), he was detained outside his home in Moscow. The next day, Khamovniki district court in Moscow pronounced the sentence: 15 days in jail for disobeying a police order.
Moscow's Basmanny district court ordered recently the 40-year-old Kremlin critic be held in pretrial detention until June 12. Russia's Investigative Committee is conducting a probe into accusations that Kara-Murza distributed false information about the Russian Army.
Separately, the Russian Justice Ministry added Kara-Murza to a list of "foreign agents." The ministry listed him as a Ukrainian agent.
The arrest comes amid a mounting crackdown by Russian authorities on opposition figures and any dissent to the ongoing war in Ukraine. After the start of the Russian invasion, Kara-Murza, together with other dissidents, activists and public figures, created the Russian Anti-War Committee.
Vladimir Kara-Murza, a close associate of Boris Nemtsov —the Russian opposition figure murdered in 2015— has survived two near-fatal poisoning attempts. In 2020, in a #Forum2000online chat, he explained that “If there is one thing that can stop and prevent Putin’s plans for a lifetime rule it would be public opposition from Russian society”.
On behalf of Forum 2000 and the ICDR, we strongly condemn the arbitrary detention carried out by Vladimir Putin's regime and demand his immediate release.
Forum 2000 co-signed the Joint Appeal for Release of Russian Dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza, a call on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to condemn Russia’s imprisonment of Mr. Kara-Murza and to demand his immediate release, along with all other prisoners of conscience.