Skip to main content
  • Share to or

Free Vladimir Kara-Murza! Stop Russia’s descent into Stalinism! An open letter from journalists and media professionals

Source: Meduza
Robin Utrecht / Shutterstock / Vida Press

The prosecution is asking the court for a 25-year prison term for the Russian opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza, who is currently in pretrial detention and facing multiple grave but unfounded charges.

We believe that Vladimir Kara-Murza, an outspoken critic of the Russian aggression that’s causing endless devastation and suffering in Ukraine, is a true patriot who stood up to a senseless war that also consumes the lives of Russian citizens in the military. But to speak out for peace and for ending this war is a crime in today’s Russia.

Apart from this first lawless and disgraceful charge of military “disinformation,” Kara-Murza is also being charged with high treason. The prosecution sees treason in his contributions to international forums, where he condemned the war and the persecution of dissidents in Putin’s Russia. Kara-Murza’s words and political opinions are being treated as offenses comparable to aggravated murder.

Vladimir Kara-Murza is now in pretrial custody, awaiting a draconian sentence, which would be effectively a life sentence, for speaking out against war. Having survived two poisoning attempts within a short timespan, he has medical conditions that compel even prison physicians to sound an alarm: his confirmed polyneuropathy threatens him with lower-body paralysis. Still, the judge finds it possible to keep him in custody, where he cannot get proper treatment for his condition. Moreover, his diagnosis is among the illnesses that preclude serving a prison sentence.

We consider the charges against Vladimir Kara-Murza to be politically motivated. The treason charge against him is particularly cynical. It is thanks to Kara-Murza that the political leaders in the West have realized that the Russian state’s aggressive policies are the responsibility of specific individuals, as opposed to the whole country and all of its people.

The charges against Vladimir Kara-Murza and the sentence that the prosecution now seeks for him mark Russia’s return to the practices of Stalinist terror against dissenters. In the past century, this has cost Russia hundreds of thousands of human lives. What began as a series of show trials of the political opposition and dissidents ultimately led to mass executions and imprisonment of ordinary people, including those who had welcomed these repressive practices.

We urge the Russian government, members of Russia’s judiciary, and law enforcement professionals to return to the path of justice, and to stop prosecuting people of integrity who dare to think and to speak the truth.

Stop Russia’s descent into Stalinism and totalitarianism! Free Vladimir Kara-Murza!

Roman Anin, iStories

Svetlana Anokhina, journalist

Ilya Ber, Provereno

Andrey Borzenko, Libo/Libo

Irina Borogan,

Irina Vershinina, Redkollegiya

Elena Vicens, journalist

Evgenia Volunkova, journalist

Alexander Gavrilov, literary critic

Maxim Glikin, journalist

Andrey Goryanov, journalist

Mikhail Danilovich, journalist, Novaya Vkladka

Sarkis Darbinian, RoskomSvoboda

Tikhon Dzyadko, TV Rain

Dmitry Durnev, journalist

Andrey Zatirko, journalist

Andrey Zakharov, journalist

Boris Zimin, Zimin Foundation

Maria Zonina, Redkollegiya

Mikhail Zygar, writer

Tatiana Ivanova, Bumaga

Mikhail Kaluzhsky, Redkollegiya

Denis Kamalyagin, Pskov Gubernia

Pavel Kanygin, To Be Continued

Maria Karpenko, journalist

Maksim Katz, politician

Mikhail Klimarev, Internet Protection Society

Dmitry Kolezev, Republic

Ivan Kolpakov, Meduza

Ekaterina Kotrikadze, TV Rain

Ilya Krasilshchik, HelpDesk.Media

Fyodor Krasheninnikov, political analyst

Maksim Kurnikov, Echo

Veronika Kutsillo, Polygon Media

Alexandra Livergant, Zimin Foundation

Maria Lipkovich, InTransit

Sergey Lukashevsky, Sakharov Center

Maria Makeeva, OstWest

Ivan Makridin, Novaya Vkladka

Alesya Marokhovskaya, iStories

Kirill Martynov, Novaya Gazeta Europe

Ekaterina Martynova, Doxa

Vasily Matenov, Asians of Russia

Peter Mironenko, The Bell

Olga Mutovina, People of Baikal

Viktor Muchnik, Eyewitnesses, Govorit NeMoskva

Zhanna Nemtsova, Nemtsov Foundation

Elizaveta Osetinskaya, The Bell

Arkady Ostrovsky, journalist

Ivan Pavlov, attorney

Sergey Parkhomenko, journalist

Anna Piotrovskaya, Zimin Foundation

Alexander Plyushchev, journalist

Kirill Rogov, Re:Russia

Rita Reutman, journalist

Olga Romanova, journalist

Ivan Rublyov, It’s My City

Peter Ruzavin, journalist

Irina Samokhina, Govorit NeMoskva

Yury Safronov, journalist

Alexey Sidorenko, Teplitsa

Sabīne Sīle, Media Hub Riga

Egor Skovoroda, Mediazona

Sergey Smirnov, Mediazona

Zhenya Snezhkina, journalist

Lyubov Sobol, politician

Andrey Soldatov,

Maxim Solyus, editor

Lola Tagaeva, Verstka

Yulia Taratuta, journalist

Galina Timchenko, Meduza

Elena Trifonova, People of Baikal

Maxim Trudolyubov, journalist

Tatiana Felgengauer, journalist

Mikhail Fishman, journalist

Alexander Cherkasov, Memorial

Viktor Chistyakov,

Olga Shorina, Nemtsov Foundation

Ilya Shumanov, Transparency International Russia

Alexander Gorokhov, journalist

Daria Litvishko and Anton Rubin, hosts, RZVRT, YouTube

Denis Dmitriev, journalist

Bogdan Litvin and Timofey Martynenko, Viasna

Mikhail Kotov, former editor-in-chief,, Forbes Ukraine

Sergey Tashevsky, Radio Free Europe

Konstantin Kotov, human rights advocate, OVD-Info

Yury Gladysh, independent journalist, political analyst

Daniil Kislov, journalist

Oleg Kashin, journalist

Alexey Obukhov, Sota

Anastasia Kashkina, Sota

Daria Poryadina, Sota

Anna Sokolova, Sota

Anna Loiko, Sota

Pyotr Ivanov, Sota

Lev Ponomaryov, human rights advocate

Nikolai Fonakov, journalist

Natalia Sevets-Yermolina, journalist

Alexei Pronin, insurance broker, Dubai

Jacob Hesin, Leipzig

This list is being updated. If you’re a media professional, you can sign this letter by writing to [email protected] with your name and affiliation (along with a way for us to confirm your identity).
Vladimir Kara-Murza in Russian politics

A dissident from a book After twenty years of opposing Putin’s regime, and living to tell the tale, Vladimir Kara-Murza is sitting in a Russian jail cell

Vladimir Kara-Murza in Russian politics

A dissident from a book After twenty years of opposing Putin’s regime, and living to tell the tale, Vladimir Kara-Murza is sitting in a Russian jail cell

  • Share to or