Vladimir Kara-Murza: In four years, the number of political prisoners in Russia has risen by six times
Vladimir Kara-Murza, Vice President of the Free Russia Foundation, stated during his presentation at a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council that in the past four years, the number of political prisoners in Russia has increased by six times.
Kara-Murza noted that the Russian academic Andrei Sakharov named 126 prisoners of conscience when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in December of 1976. Memorial Human Rights Center has calculated that there are 297 people currently under pursuit for political or religious reasons. “This is the most conservative estimate, but it helps bring to light the extent of the government’s pursuit [of people],” said the politician.
He named as examples Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov, who opposed the annexation of Crimea, activist and single mother from Rostov-on-Don Anastasia Shevchenko, who was arrested under the new law on “undesirable organizations,” and also Alexei Pichugin, who spent sixteen years behind bars in connection with the “YUKOS case.”
“These are three names out of 297. And this number continues to grow. In the last four years, the number of political prisoners in Russia has risen by six times. The government’s pursuit of them violates not only the Constitution of the Russian Federation, but also the Russia’s commitments set in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and also the summary document of the Venice meeting of the OSCE, and the European Convention on Human Rights,” noted Vladimir Kara-Murza as he urged the United Nations Human Rights Council to achieve fairness for those who have lost it in their homeland.
This Article first appeared in Russian at the Znak.com.