UK: ‘Such a powerful appeal for freedom in Russia’
GENEVA, September 22 — The wife of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Vladimir Kara-Murza, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison for criticizing Putin’s war on Ukraine, testified today before the UN Human Rights Council, in the first-ever debate held with the new UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Russia.
“Such a powerful appeal for freedom in Russia,” tweeted British Ambassador Simon Manley, who heard the speech in the council chamber.
Russia is currently running for a seat on the 47-nation council, in elections that will be held by the UN General Assembly on October 10th.
Following is the text of Evgenia Kara Murza’s UNHRC address today:
“I am a Russian citizen and Advocacy Director at the Free Russia Foundation, and I am honoured to address the United Nations on behalf of UN Watch.
Recently, my husband Vladimir Kara-Murza, a great Russian patriot, was sent to a prison camp in Siberia for 25 years for stating the fact: the Russian state is leading a criminal war of aggression against Ukraine and is using repression against tens of thousands of Russian citizens to prevent them from exercising their right to free speech guaranteed by the Russian Constitution.
I have come here to ask the Russian government: Would a strong leader attack a peaceful neighbor? Would a strong leader need to close down all independent media and persecute all organizations involved in the defense of human rights?
Would a strong leader subject his own citizens to mind-boggling propaganda, arbitrary detentions, torture, punitive psychiatry, and decades-long prison terms for questioning state policies? Would hundreds of thousands of people flee a country led by a strong leader who enjoys the support of his population?
No. Vladimir Putin is no leader. He is wanted for arrest by the International Criminal Court, as a criminal.
Putin’s Russia definitely has no place on the United Nations Human Rights Council.
And I call on the international community to not let him and his government get away—yet again—with the crimes they are committing against both the Ukrainian and the Russian peoples.
For as long as Putin’s government is allowed to stay in the Kremlin, the war will go on. Vladimir Putin in not a leader but a bully, and if we want peace, this bully needs to be stopped.”
Click for Video (minute 43:40)
UN Watch and Russian Human Rights
Ms. Kara-Murza spoke today on behalf of UN Watch, an independent non-governmental human rights organization based in Geneva.
UN Watch has been a leading voice at the United Nations for human rights in Russia, and hosted Vladimir Kara-Murza several times at the UN prior to his arrest in 2012.
In November, Evgenia Kara-Murza accepted UN Watch’s 2022 Morris Abram Human Rights Award on behalf of her husband.