Putin issues treason charge against opposition politician – ‘Travesty against justice!’ | World | News

has imposed a charge of high treason against a politician from an opposition party for criticising the Kremlin, Human Rights Watch said on Friday. According to the report, Vladimir Kara-Murza has been vocal about his thoughts against the .

The charges are an attempt to quash any criticism of the Kremlin and deter contact with the international community, it is believed.

Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch said: “Vladimir Kara-Murza is a longstanding proponent of democratic values and has been a vocal opponent of Vladimir Putin and Russia’s war on Ukraine.

“It is painfully obvious that the Kremlin sees Kara-Murza as a direct and imminent threat.

“These charges against him and his prolonged detention are a travesty of justice.

“Russian authorities should immediately and unconditionally free Kara-Murza and drop all charges against him.”

Vadim Prokorov, Kara-Murza’s lawyer, said the high treason charges relate to Kara-Murza’s public criticism of the Russian authorities in international forums.

According to the reports, this is the third “basesless” criminal charge against Mr Murza since he was detained in April 2022.

The Human Rights Watch stated that he has already been indicted for spreading “fake news” about the Russian Armed Forces because he publicly criticised Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and for alleged involvement with an “undesirable” foreign organisation.

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Ivan Safronov, a journalist, was recently convicted of high treason and has been sentenced to 22 years in a maximum security prison.

He has been given a substantial fine for his journalistic investigations of defense contracts, spotlighting how treason cases are handled.

The reports suggested that he was tried behind closed doors, key evidence obtained by fellow journalists was not accepted by the court, and his defence team came under immense pressure.

Two of his lawyers had to flee the country, and a third was detained on accusations of spreading false information and remains in detention.

Mr Williamson said: “Sadly, it is unrealistic to expect that fair trial standards will be observed in Kara-Murza’s case.

“By jailing leaders like him, Russian authorities are attempting to instill fear in the Russian people and eradicate any opportunity for civil society to mobilize and oppose the Kremlin and its war.”

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