Evgenia Kara-Murza, wife of imprisoned Russian opposition figure Vladimir Kara-Murza, said authorities tortured him psychologically by refusing him calls with his children while serving a 25-year prison sentence on charges he says are politically motivated.
Speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, Evgenia Kara-Murza said her husband’s repeated requests to speak to his three children – aged 11, 14 and 17 – were rejected, since they now live in the United States. .
“Vladimir misses his children and his family very much and he is devastated that he has not been able to speak to us for more than a year,” Evgenia Kara-Murza said on Wednesday. And the authorities know that. They just use it as psychological torture against him.’
The Russian Federal Penitentiary Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Vladimir Kara-Murza, convicted of treason and other crimes last month for publicly condemning the Russian leadership and the war in Ukraine, received the harshest sentence of its kind since the February 2022 invasion.
He was detained last April, hours after DailyExpertNews aired an interview in which he said Russia was run by a “regime of killers”.
Prosecutors charged the 41-year-old with, among other things, treason and discrediting the Russian military by “knowingly spreading false information” about his actions in what Moscow calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Vladimir Kara-Murza, who holds Russian and British passports, was a close associate of Boris Nemtsov, an opposition figure who was assassinated outside the Kremlin in 2015. He continued to speak out against President Vladimir Putin.
“If I had tried to convince him to give up his fight, I would have betrayed him,” said Evgenia Kara-Murza.
Evgenia Kara-Murza said her husband’s successful lobbying of foreign governments and institutions to impose sanctions on Russia and individual Russians for human rights violations had made him a “personal enemy” of the Kremlin.
“Dictatorships around the world are very afraid of clear, strong voices that will not be intimidated. And Vladimir’s voice is one such voice.”
Despite being unable to speak to him, his children have grown up aware of the dangers of being an opposition figure in Russia.
They witnessed their father fall into a coma after poisonings in 2015 and 2017, which left him with a serious nerve condition called polyneuropathy. Russian authorities denied any involvement.
“Their father was first poisoned when our oldest was nine,” said Evgenia Kara-Murza. “She’s 17 now. That’s half her life she’s known her dad was being targeted again and again.”
(This story has not been edited by DailyExpertNews staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)