Press Release

March 23, 2023
Cardin, Wicker, Keating, Kean, Wilson, Cohen Lead Congressional Call for Russia to Release Opposition Leader Vladimir Kara-Murza
Bicameral resolution condemns “Russia’s unjust and arbitrary detention of Russian opposition leader Vladimir Kara-Murza, who has stood up in defense of democracy, the rule of law, and free and fair elections in Russia.”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), author of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act; Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee; along with Congressmen William R. Keating (D-Mass.-09) and Tom Kean Jr (R-N.J.-7), ranking member and chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe; and Congressmen Joe Wilson (R-S.C.-2) and Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.-9), chair and ranking member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, today introduced a bicameral resolution condemning Russia’s ongoing detention of Russia’s democratic opposition leader Vladimir Kara-Murza. 

Kara-Murza currently is being subjected to yet another sham trial. He was detained in Moscow outside of his home last year, barely two weeks after testifying before the Helsinki Commission in Washington at a hearing chaired by Senator Cardin. Unjustly imprisoned since then, Kara-Murza has twice been poisoned by the Kremlin yet remains a loud, clear voice for a democratic future for Russia and freedom for its people.

In the resolution, Congress “condemns in the strongest possible terms the unjust and arbitrary detention of Russian democratic opposition leader Vladimir Kara-Murza” and calls for his immediate release – along with other political prisoners. Congress also “calls on all Russian citizens to outright condemn Russia’s illegal and unjust invasion of Ukraine in the spirit of Mr. Kara-Murza’s defiant opposition stance in front of the Arizona House of Representatives in March 2022.” The resolution calls on President Biden to lead “the free world to work tirelessly for the release of political prisoners in Russia and increase support for those advocating for democracy in Russia as well as independent media and civil society which Mr. Kara-Murza has worked to further.”

The full text of the resolution can be found at this link.

Senator Cardin also serves as co-chair of the U.S. Helsinki Commission and Senator Wicker serves as Senate ranking member.