Wife of Imprisoned Russian Dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza Addresses United Nations

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Testimony of Ms. Evgenia Kara-Murza before the United Nations Human Rights Council, Special Session on Russia’s Aggression in Ukraine, 12 May 2022

Mr. President,

It is an honor to speak on behalf of UN Watch.

For over two months, we have been witnessing a bloody massacre of the civilian population by Russian Armed Forces on the territory of the sovereign state of Ukraine. It seems the world has finally realized who Mr. Putin truly is and is now watching in horror thinking about what else this increasingly deranged dictator is capable of.

Well, people like my husband, Vladimir Kara-Murza, have known it for over two decades and have tried time and again to warn the world about the danger of appeasing a bully who sees every compromise as his opponent’s weakness.

Twice, in 2015 and 2017, my husband was poisoned by a team of FSB operatives whose only job is to physically eliminate the opponents of the current Russian government. He refused to be intimidated and forced out of his country, so he went back to Russia and continued his work.

A month ago, Vladimir joined the ever-growing list of political prisoners in Russia. He is being charged under a new law that criminalizes any opposition to Putin’s so-called special operation in Ukraine.

My husband is facing up to 10 years in prison for calling this war a war. And he is not alone. Over 15,000 people have been detained all across Russia for speaking up against the war in Ukraine.

We know that only Russians can bring change to Russia, but in order for a grassroots movement to emerge in our country, we ask the international community to see these brave Russians who stand up to the Russian government against all odds.

We ask the international community to recognize their fight and to stand with them.

Thank you.

UNHRC Chair: Thank you. I would like remind to remind delegations that you should keep appropriate language in this forum in your statements.

_______________

UN WATCH PRESS RELEASE

Wife of Imprisoned Russian Dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza Addresses United Nations

GENEVA, May 12, 2022 — Evgenia Kara-Murza, wife of imprisoned Russian dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza, today addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council, at a special session on Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.

Ms. Kara-Murza took the floor on behalf of the Geneva-based United Nations Watch, an independent non-governmental organization which has worked closely with her husband to address Russian abuses. A transcript of her speech is above.

Vladimir Kara-Murza has been imprisoned for speaking out against Russia’s war in Ukraine. He was charged under a draconian new law that criminalizes the sharing of “fake” information about the Russian military, and now  faces up to 15 years in prison.

The Russian dissident’s work with UN Watch has seen him address a press conference in 2020, where he appealed to the UN—in vain—not to elect the Putin regime to the world’s highest human rights body.

However, UN Watch recently spearheaded the campaign that saw Russia ousted from the council, now replaced by the Czech Republic.

UN Watch also invited Mr. Kara-Murza on several occasions to address the UNHRC to call out Russian abuses, and he was the 2018 recipient of the prestigious Geneva Summit Courage Award, at UN Watch’s flagship annual human rights conference.

UN Watch Comment

“I spoke with Vladimir last month, not long before he was arrested in Moscow, and I invited him to testify before the UN Human Rights Council on our behalf,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.

“We had agreed that that he would come to Geneva to speak at the next session. Tragically, as Vladimir feared might happen, he has now been taken away by the regime. We salute his wife Evgenia for her courageous, eloquent and tireless campaign to free her husband, and for speaking today for UN Watch.”

Neuer will also be taking the floor today to urge top UN officials to end their silence on Kara-Murza’s arrest and imprisonment.

“We call on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to speak out immediately, and demand that Russia release Vladimir Kara-Murza and all prisoners of conscience whose only crime was opposing this war. Their intervention would certainly be heard in Moscow, and so it is vital that they speak out.”

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