The European Council blacklisted nine Russians on Monday in response to Russia’s 25-year prison sentence against opposition figure Vladimir Kara-Murza.
The Council imposed restrictive measures against the nine people under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime for sentencing the Russian opposition politician, democracy activist and outspoken Kremlin critic on politically motivated charges and false allegations, it said in a statement.
Strongly condemning the ruling, the statement called on Russia to” immediately and unconditionally” release Kara-Murza and all those imprisoned for “politically motivated charges.”
Claiming that Russia’s war on Ukraine “has amplified internal repression in Russia,” the Council said the European Union is concerned about the “continuing deterioration of the human rights situation” in the country.
“Today’s sanctions decision demonstrates once again the European Union’s determination to stand in solidarity with all those who are prosecuted, imprisoned or intimidated for fighting for human rights, speaking the truth,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in the statement.
In April, a Russian court sentenced Kara-Murza to 25 years in prison on charges of treason, spreading “false information” about the Russian military and leading an “undesirable” organization.
He had been detained since April 2022 after speaking before the Arizona House of Representatives in the US a month earlier, where he spoke out against the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
The Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime, established by the European Council on Dec 7, 2020, applies “to acts such as genocide, crimes against humanity and other serious human rights violations or abuses.”
According to the EU, restrictive measures under the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime have been applied to a total of 43 individuals and 15 entities.
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