FIDU expresses grave concern for the life of Russian dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza, who is being held in the Omsk penal colony in Siberia and has reportedly been hospitalized at the facility since July 4th. His lawyers have been prevented from seeing him and there are fears for his health condition, partly because his case bears several similarities to that of Alexei Navalny.

As a Russian and British citizen, vice-president of the “Open Russia” movement, and a historian and Pulitzer Prize winner for journalism as a contributor to the “Washington Post,” Kara-Murza has been among the most active advocates of adopting “Magnitsky” sanctions against those responsible for gross human rights violations and large-scale corruption in any country. After surviving poisoning attempts in 2015 and 2017 and then moving abroad, he voluntarily returned to Russia in April 2022 and was arrested on charges of spreading “false” information about the Russian military with respect to the war in Ukraine. Later, he was also charged with membership in an “undesirable organization” and “treason” for his public criticism, being sentenced to 25 years in prison.

His conviction, upheld on appeal, is recognized as political by leading international human rights organizations, the British government, the European Parliament, the U.S. State Department and other governments, while Canada has granted him honorary Canadian citizenship.

FIDU calls on the Italian government to join international appeals and take coordinated action with EU member states to obtain information about his health status, allow him access to his lawyer and secure his immediate and unconditional release.