Lawyer Granted Access to Kremlin Critic Kara-Murza in Prison Hospital

By The Moscow Times | Created at 2024-07-10 13:01:20 | Updated at 2024-07-21 19:29:29 1 week ago
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Jailed Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza is in “relatively stable” condition after being transferred to a prison hospital last week, his lawyer said Wednesday.

This is the first update on Kara-Murza's condition since he was hospitalized, with his wife saying prison and hospital staff had prevented his lawyer from seeing him for six consecutive days.

“Kara-Murza’s health is currently relatively stable,” lawyer Vadim Prokhorov wrote on Facebook.

“But he suffers from a severe chronic disease that prevents him from serving his sentence in a penal colony,” Prokhorov added.

Kara-Murza suffers from a nerve disease after falling severely ill in 2015 and 2017 in what he says were poisonings orchestrated by Russia’s FSB security service. 

The 42-year-old opposition activist and journalist is serving a 25-year sentence at a maximum-security prison colony for treason and other charges.

His absence from public view has raised concerns that he may suffer the same fate as Alexei Navalny, a prominent opposition figure who died in mysterious circumstances in an Arctic prison colony this winter.

Prokhorov wrote that Kara-Murza was hospitalized for an unexplained “medical examination.”

The Kremlin said earlier Wednesday it could not intervene in the Russian prison service’s work.

Kara-Murza was arrested in April 2022 after he blasted Russia's invasion of Ukraine and pressed Western countries to impose sanctions against the Kremlin.

The dual Russian-British citizen was sentenced in April 2023 to 25 years in a maximum-security prison on charges of treason, spreading “false” information about the Russian army and having links to an “undesirable organization” — one of the longest prison sentences handed down to a Russian opposition figure in recent years.

Kara-Murza had vocally campaigned against President Vladimir Putin for years and stayed inside the country to criticize the 2022 military offensive on Ukraine even as Moscow passed a raft of anti-dissent and military censorship laws.

From behind bars, Kara-Murza has continued to campaign against Putin and urged Moscow to investigate his claims of having been poisoned.

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