ICYMI: Senators Shaheen, Durbin Meet with Evgenia Kara-Murza, Wife of Russian Opposition Leader

June 17, 2022

Senate recently unanimously passed a resolution to honor Vladimir Kara-Murza; condemn his arrest and detention; and call for his and Alexei Navalny’s release  

(Washington, DC) – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, and U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) met with Evgenia Kara-Murza, the wife of Russian opposition leader, Vladimir Kara-Murza. During their meeting, they discussed his unjust detention and continued pressure to release him and other Russian political prisoners.  

“Yesterday’s meeting with Evgenia was powerful as she continues to advocate for the release of her husband, Vladimir, who was unjustly detained for his opposition to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked and illegal further invasion of Ukraine. There must be accountability and protection for political prisoners who are bravely speaking truth to power and working to build a democratic future for Russia,” said Shaheen. “I’ve called for every Russian official who was involved in his wrongful arrest to be sanctioned, and I will continue to work tirelessly with Evgenia to ensure her husband is released and reunited with his family.” 

“Evgenia’s tireless advocacy to bring her husband home is unparalleled,” said Durbin. “During yesterday’s meeting, we reflected on his fight for democracy and the urgency to bring him home to push back against Putin’s tyranny at home and abroad.”  

The Senate recently passed a bipartisan resolution, led by Senators Shaheen, Durbin and Rubio (R-FL), honoring Kara-Murza. The resolution also pays tribute to his advocacy for human rights in Russia and support for the anti-war movement. Additionally, it urges the U.S. and its allies to secure his release and that of Alexei Navalny and other Russian political prisoners and calls for the U.S. government to support the cause of democracy and human rights in Russia. 

Vladimir Kara-Murza, Vice Chairman of Open Russia, is a journalist, contributing writer at the Washington Post, filmmaker, author and a lifelong Russian opposition politician. He was born in Moscow in 1981, where he lived until attending Cambridge for his BA and MA in History.  His opposition to Putin began in 2000 and his career in the public spotlight took off when he ran for State Duma in 2003.  In 2012, he became widely recognized in the U.S. for his help in passing the Magnitsky Act, a bill Durbin cosponsored that blocked 18 Russian government officials and businessmen from entering the United States, froze any assets held by U.S. banks, and banned their future use of U.S. banking systems. The act was expanded in 2016, and now sanctions apply to 44 suspected human rights abusers worldwide. 

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