GENEVA, May 2, 2022 — A coalition of 25 human rights groups that co-sponsor the annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy today called on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and the UN Human Rights Council’s 55 independent investigators to demand the release of leading Russian dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza, along with all other prisoners of conscience jailed for protesting Putin’s war in Ukraine. See joint appeal below.
Mr. Kara-Murza was the 2018 recipient of the prestigious Geneva Summit Courage Award.
JOINT APPEAL FOR RELEASE OF RUSSIAN DISSIDENT VLADIMIR KARA-MURZA
GENEVA SUMMIT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY
May 2, 2022
We, the undersigned human rights and non-governmental organizations, demand the immediate release of Russian dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza, an alumnus of the Geneva Summit. He has been imprisoned and now charged for bravely speaking out against the Putin regime’s brutal war in Ukraine.
On April 11, 2022, Mr. Kara-Murza appeared on CNN and stated that “the Putin regime will end over this, and there will be a democratic Russia.” Hours later he was taken away by authorities, and summarily sentenced to 15 days in prison.
Subsequently, on April 22nd, Mr. Kara-Murza was charged under a repressive new law that criminalizes the sharing of “fake news” about the Russian military. He now faces up to 15 years in prison. These most recent charges are spurious and aim only to silence dissent inside Russia. They reflect the Putin regime’s fear of the truth.
A prominent journalist and writer, Mr. Kara-Murza has already survived two near-fatal poisoning attempts by the Putin regime. His close friend and colleague Boris Nemtsov, the Russian opposition leader, was assassinated in Moscow in 2015.
We condemn Russia’s imprisonment of Mr. Kara-Murza and call for his immeediate release, along with all other prisoners of conscience detained for speaking out since the start of Putin’s war in Ukraine.
We call on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, along with all other relevant UN human rights mandate-holders and special procedures, to do the same.
NGO COALITION SIGNATORIES:
DARFUR PEACE & DEVELOPMENT CENTER
FREEDOM RIGHTS PROJECT
HUMAN RIGHTS WITHOUT FRONTIERS
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF LIBERAL YOUTH
LANTOS FOUNDATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
LIGUE INTERNATIONAL CONTRE LE RACISME
RAOUL WALLENBERG CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
VOICES OF NICARAGUA