Statement on the persecution of Vladimir Kara-Murza

The Anti-War Committee demands a halt to the prosecution of Vladimir Kara-Murza.

A criminal case has been opened against Vladimir Kara-Murza, a member of the Anti-War Committee, under the article “dissemination of false information about the deployment of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation”.

From the very beginning of the war on February 24 2022, Vladimir Kara-Murza and the other members of the Anti-War Committee directly called the war with Ukraine “a war”, and those who unleashed the aggression, “war criminals”. This is precisely the reason for his persecution.

The Russian authorities, under Vladimir Putin, have launched an unjust, despicable and cruel war against the people of Ukraine. A war that is condemned by the whole world, by all people immune to propaganda. In order to cut off Russian citizens from independent information, the infamous Article 207.3 of the Criminal Code, “Public dissemination of knowingly false information about the deployment of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation”, was urgently enacted.

Now, under the threat of criminal punishment, it is required that the massacre of civilians in Bucha, the bombing of children in Mariupol and other war crimes by the Russian authorities and army be called “the deployment of the Russian Armed Forces in order to protect the interests of the Russian Federation and its citizens and maintain international peace and security”. Anyone who disagrees with this interpretation automatically becomes a criminal.

Article 207.3 clearly contradicts the Constitution, which is still formally in force in Russia. Article 29 of the Constitution guarantees everyone the right to freedom of thought and speech and the right to freely receive and impart information. The Constitution is a directly applicable law. No one and nothing can diminish the rights granted by it.

Therefore, the criminals are not those who talk about the injustice, the illegality and the cowardice of this war, but those who began it and continue to carry out this aggression. Those who are attacking a sovereign country and killing civilians. Those who are destroying whole cities and creating a humanitarian disaster. Those who spare neither women nor children to achieve their criminal goals.

Vladimir Kara-Murza is being prosecuted for his beliefs, ideals, views and social activism under a political article, contrary to the Constitution. He is being persecuted for dissent. Vladimir Kara-Murza is a prisoner of conscience and we call on international organisations to grant him this status.

We ask democratic governments to make every diplomatic and political effort to secure the release of Vladimir Kara-Murza, who has already been poisoned twice by the Russian security services for his political activism, meaning that his life and health are in great danger.

Vladimir Kara-Murza must be released immediately and the persecution against him stopped.

Members of the Russian Anti-War Committee:

  • Sergei Aleksashenko, economist
  • Marat Gelman, gallerist
  • Dmitry Gudkov, politician
  • Sergey Guriev, economist
  • Boris Zimin, businessman
  • Garry Kasparov, politician, 13th world chess champion
  • Mikhail Kasyanov, politician, former Prime Minister of Russia
  • Yevgeny Kiselyov, journalist
  • Mikhail Kokorich, entrepreneur, engineer
  • Yulia Latynina, writer, journalist
  • Yury Pivovarov, historian, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Mikhail Khodorkovsky, philanthropist, former political prisoner
  • Evgeny Chichvarkin, entrepreneur
  • Konstantin Chumakov, scientist
  • Viktor Shenderovich, writer