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Monday July 22, 2024

Jailed Kremlin critic in stable condition

By AFP
July 11, 2024
Russian opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza is escorted for a hearing at the Basmanny court in Moscow on Oct. 10, 2022, — AFP
Russian opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza is escorted for a hearing at the Basmanny court in Moscow on Oct. 10, 2022, — AFP

MOSCOW: Lawyers for jailed Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza on Wednesday said he was in a “relatively stable” condition after they saw him in a prison hospital for the first time in six days.

Kara-Murza -- one of President Vladimir Putin’s most vocal critics who is serving a 25-year prison sentence -- was take to hospital last week, and his lawyers were repeatedly denied access to him, raising fears over his health.

The dissident suffers from nerve disease -- that he says is the result of two poisonings by Russia’s security services -- and his health is feared to have deteriorated in prison, where he is kept in harsh conditions and medical care is limited.

“Today, on 10 July 2024, after numerous efforts, the Omsk lawyer of Vladimir Kara-Murza, Sergei Safronov, managed to visit his client,” in the prison hospital, Vadim Prokhorov, the dissident’s lawyer said Wednesday.

“Vladimir Kara-Murza’s health is relatively stable at the moment,” he said in a post on Facebook.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Kremlin said it could not intervene in the case, as the British government called for his immediate release.

Kara-Murza, 42, has joint Russian-British citizenship.

“Unfortunately we do not have the opportunity to observe this situation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, before the lawyers said they been allowed to see him. Kara-Murza fell severely ill in 2015 and 2017 in what he said were poisonings orchestrated by Russia’s FSB security service.

The Bellingcat investigative news outlet also published evidence linking the FSB to the poisonings. His family and lawyers had raised fears over his health during the six days they were without contact with him.