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Jailed opposition leader, Kara-Murza, says "The Price Of Silence Is Unacceptable."

'Jailed Russian opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza, who faces a prison sentence of up to 24 years on high treason and other charges, says he doesn't regret any of his actions, even though they almost cost him his life twice.

Answering questions from the BBC via written statements sent from a Moscow detention center, Kara-Murza wrote that "the price of silence is unacceptable" in current Russia and "a form of being an accomplice" to President Vladimir Putin's policies. "I do not think that I would have had a right to be involved in politics, call people to action, if I had remained in safety somewhere else," Kara-Murza wrote. The 41-year-old politician was detained in April and sentenced to 15 days in jail on a charge of disobeying police. He was later charged with spreading false information about the Russian Army for talks he held with lawmakers in the U.S. state of Arizona. Last month, a high treason charge was added to the list of offenses he faces over his alleged cooperation with organizations in a NATO member for many years. Kara-Murza has rejected the charges, calling them politically motivated. Putin has moved to silence his opponents over the years through legislation that has restricted free speech and civil society in Russia. That campaign has intensified since he launched an invasion of Ukraine in late February. "The Kremlin wants to show Putin’s opponents as traitors...,but real traitors are those who are destroy the wealth, reputation, and future of our country for the sake of personal power, not those who stand against them," Kara-Murza said in his written answers. In October, Kara-Murza won the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize awarded annually by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to honor "outstanding" civil society action in the defense of human rights. Human Rights Watch (HRW) has blasted the charges against Kara-Murza as "baseless," saying it is "painfully obvious" that the Kremlin sees Kara-Murza as "a direct and imminent threat." The son of a prominent journalist, also named Vladimir, who died in 2019, the younger Kara-Murza was a television correspondent in Washington for several years and later worked on political projects launched by former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a prominent Putin foe who now lives in Western Europe after spending more than a decade in prison.'

Retrieved from RadioFreeEurope/ RadioLiberty on 31st march 2023

Originally written on November 16th 2022


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