TALLINN - The chairs of the parliamentary foreign affairs committees of 11 European states issued a statement on Thursday condemning the decision of a Russian court to sentence opposition politician and Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza to 25 years in prison on politically motivated charges and demanding his immediate and unconditional release without further delay.
According to the committee chairs, this is a clear demonstration of the misuse of power by Russian authorities and an attempt to silence political opponents.
"The Russian judicial system continues to be instrumentalized against advocates for democracy, journalists and other courageous activists," it is said in the joint statement made on the initiative of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
According to the signatories, all persons responsible for Kara-Murza’s prosecution, detention and sentencing must be held accountable by imposing targeted sanctions under the respective global human rights sanctions regimes.
"We consider Kara-Murza’s conviction to be contrary to Russia’s international obligations on human rights, including the right to a fair trial, and call for his immediate and unconditional release without further delay," it is said in the statement.
The chairs of the foreign affairs committees issued the statement at the parliamentary conference on European Security in London. The parliamentary foreign affairs committee chairs of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ireland, Iceland, the United Kingdom, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Denmark have joined the statement.
The statement was signed on behalf of Estonia by Riigikogu foreign affairs committee chairman Marko Mihkelson.