Post contributor Kara Morza indicted in Russia for “false” information

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A Russian court on Friday indicted an opposition writer and opinion contributor to The Washington Post Vladimir Kara Murza With the publication of what he considers “false” information about the nation’s army after he called the government a “regime of killers” in an interview earlier this month.

Kara Murza has been arrested He was outside his home in Moscow last week and is serving his 15-day detention on charges of evading police.

A Moscow court on Friday brought the most serious accusation – an alleged violation of a vaguely defined law upheld by Russian President Vladimir Putin and enacted by the Russian parliament after the country’s invasion of Ukraine – by a Moscow court. Posted on Facebook By his lawyer Vadim Prokhorov.

Kara Morza, 40, who lives with his family in Northern Virginia, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

The indictment alleges that Kara-Murza “intentionally spread false information.” [about] The military forces of the Russian Federation “which” cause great harm to the interests of the Russian Federation. “

Kara-Murza was arrested last week after being given a permit Interview To CNN, he predicted that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would lead to Putin’s downfall. “It’s not just corrupt, it’s not just kleptocratic, it’s not just authoritarian,” he said of Putin’s government. It’s a killer system. It is important that you say it out loud.”

Kara Morza is a prominent Russian opposition leader and intellectual who has written dozens of columns for The Post critical of the Putin regime. He was poisoned twice, in 2015 and 2017, in incidents he described as attempts to silence him to urge Western countries to impose sanctions on Russian officials suspected of human rights violations.

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He kept his defiance even while in prison. at Column published by The Post Last week during his 15-day sentence, he wrote, “There will be dawn” in Russia. “Russia will be free. I was never so sure of that as I am today.”

Kara Morza is a longtime partner of Boris Nemtsov, the Russian opposition leader who was assassinated outside the Kremlin in 2015. He is also a writer, documentary director and a former candidate for the Russian parliament.

He played a key role in persuading the United States, the European Union, Canada and Britain to adopt penal laws in 2012, known as the Magnitsky Act, that target individuals in Russia and elsewhere who are complicit in human rights abuses.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken Tweet earlier this month The United States is “disturbed” by the arrest of Kara Morza. He demanded his immediate release.

In addition to Kara Morza, two other writers associated with The Post have been arrested and persecuted by foreign governments in recent years.

Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi writer and dissident who was also an opinion contributor to The Post, was killed in October 2018 by Saudi agents at that country’s consulate in Istanbul, in an attack deduced by the CIA and a United Nations commission on the orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed. Bin Salman.

Iranian authorities arrested in 2014 Jason RezaianWashington Post correspondent in Tehran. He spent 544 days in prison in Iran without trial before being released in early 2016. Rezaian is now a writer for The Post’s Global Opinions, the section where Kara Morza and Khashoggi’s columns were published.

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In a statement on Friday, Postal publisher Fred Ryan said Kara Morza had “repeatedly risked his safety to tell the truth about Vladimir Putin’s heinous human rights abuses” and said the charges against him were related to a “mock crime”.

He added, “Americans should be outraged by Putin’s escalating campaign to silence Kara Morza. … Everyone who values ​​press freedom and human rights should be outraged by this injustice and join in calling for Kara Morza’s immediate release.”

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