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Jailed Opposition Activist Kara-Murza Transferred to ‘Unknown’ Location

Russian opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza. Dmitry Serebryakov / AP / TASS

Jailed Russian opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza, who is serving a 25-year sentence for treason and “fake news” about the war in Ukraine, has been moved to an “unknown” location, his family said Monday.

“We just learned that after 4 months of solitary confinement my husband @vkaramurza 'left' (as put by an official) the strict-regime penal colony in Omsk in an unknown direction,” his wife Yevgenia Kara-Murza said on X, formerly Twitter.

Kara-Murza, 42, was arrested in April 2022 after he criticized the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. He was last year brought to the IK-6 maximum-security penal colony in Omsk some 2,700 kilometers east of Moscow.

His lawyers and family have said his health has deteriorated in prison as he suffers from a nerve condition called polyneuropathy due to two near-fatal poisoning attempts in 2015 and 2017.

Transferring prisoners to new facilities can sometimes take weeks in Russia, and prisoners lose all contact with the outside world. The Federal Penitentiary Service is required to inform prisoners' families within 10 days of their arrival at a new facility. 

Kara-Murza was in April 2023 sentenced to 25 years in prison on charges of treason, “false information about the Russian army” and affiliation with an “undesirable” organization.

His prison sentence is one of the longest to be handed down against an opposition figure in recent years.

In his final word in court before his sentencing, Kara-Murza stood by his political work, including his comments on the war in Ukraine.

"Not only do I not repent for any of it — I am proud of it," he said.

Kara-Murza's transfer comes weeks after jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny went missing for nearly three weeks before he was located in a remote prison colony in Russia's Arctic.

Navalny's disappearance had spurred concerns from allies, rights groups and Western governments over his safety.

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