Wednesday, September 20, 2023
2:00 pm to 3:30 p.m.
Rayburn House Building Room 2200
Streaming here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXr8mZPDkdM
In April of 2022, hours after the Russian politician Vladimir Kara-Murza called the Kremlin “the regime of murderers”, he was arrested on charges of disobeying police orders. The initial charge metastasized into a concocted string of accusations, including “spreading of false information” and “cooperating with an undesirable organization” that resulted in a twenty-five-year prison term, the maximum possible. Mr. Kara-Murza received this unjustified and exceedingly harsh sentence in a show trial reminiscent of the Stalin era proceedings for simply speaking the truth about Russia’s war against Ukraine and being a vocal champion of democracy and human rights. He notably successfully advocated for the Magnitsky Law which seeks to punish Russian officials responsible for human rights violations. To contrast, the maximum term for murder in Russia is fifteen years. Mr. Kara-Murza’s conviction is the longest sentence for political activity in Russia since Stalin’s purges in the 1930s. Mr. Kara-Murza had survived two poisonings which left him significantly weakened. Any length of time where he cannot access specialized medical care equals to another attempt on his life.
Mr. Kara-Murza has been in Putin’s prison for over five hundred days now. His immediate family – his spouse and children – are United States citizens. Mr. Kara-Murza himself is a permanent resident of the United States. Yet despite these circumstances, the United States Department of State has not designated Mr. Kara-Murza a Wrongfully or Illegally Detained Person. The designation would require that the United States government undertake a specific set of measures to bring Mr. Kara-Murza home.
The hearing will investigate why the Department of State has up to this date failed to designate Mr. Kara-Murza as a Wrongfully or Illegally Detained Person and what the Department is planning to do to bring him home.
The following witnesses are scheduled to testify:
- Evgenia Kara-Murza, Advocacy Director at the Free Russia Foundation, Wife of Vladimir Kara-Murza
- Ms. Meghan McCain
State Department officials have been invited. Other witnesses may be added.