House Passes Resolution Urging the Designation of Vladimir Kara-Murza as Wrongfully Detained


A Strong Stance Against Russia's Ongoing Repression of Democracy and Human Rights

On June 11, 2024, the United States House of Representatives passed a House Concurrent Resolution (H. Con. Res. 27), condemning the unjust and arbitrary detention of Vladimir Kara-Murza, a prominent Russian opposition leader and a 2024 Pulitzer Prize winner. The document highlights Kara-Murza’s history of advocating for democracy, rule of law, and free and fair elections in Russia, despite facing repeated attempts on his life and imprisonment.

Mr. Kara-Murza was detained in April 2022 for spreading supposedly «false information» and later charged with «high treason» for his public condemnations of the Kremlin’s military aggression on Ukraine and domestic repressions. Since then, his health has deteriorated significantly, including the loss of over 45 pounds and a diagnosis of polyneuropathy, which should have precluded his detention under Russian law.

Mr. Kara-Murza has received several international awards for his courage and advocacy, including the McCain Institute’s Courage and Leadership Award and the Vaclav Havel Prize, among others. The Department of the Treasury and the Department of State imposed Global Magnitsky and other targeted sanctions on six Russian individuals involved in Kara-Murza’s detention.

The key takeaways from the resolution are as follows:

— Condemnation of detention: The resolution strongly condemns the Russian Federation for the unjust and arbitrary detention of Vladimir Kara-Murza, advocating for his immediate release;

— Solidarity with political prisoners: The resolution expresses solidarity and calls for the release of all political prisoners in Russia and Belarus, including Ukrainian citizens illegally held by Putin’s regime, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalist Alsu Kurmasheva, and wrongfully-detained Americans Paul Whelan and Evan Gershkovich;

— Call for designation as wrongfully detained: The resolution urges the U.S. Government to designate Mr. Kara-Murza, as well as Ms. Kurmasheva, as wrongfully detained under the Robert Levinson Hostage Recovery and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act (Levinson Act);

— Support for democracy advocates: The resolution calls on the U.S. President and leaders from across the free world to work tirelessly for the release of political prisoners in Russia and increase support for those advocating for democracy in Russia, as well as independent media and civil society which Mr. Kara-Murza has worked to further.

— Recognition of Vladimir Kara-Murza’s advocacy efforts: The resolution recognizes Vladimir Kara-Murza’s role as a major advocate for the adoption of Magnitsky-style sanctions to target human rights abusers and corrupt officials in Russia.

— The passage of this resolution reaffirms that the House of Representatives stands united in its resolve to see Vladimir Kara-Murza and other unjustly detained individuals freed and to continue supporting the fight against tyranny.

check other materials