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McCain Institute Co-Hosts Capitol Hill Event Honoring Vladimir Kara-Murza

Lawmakers, NGOs, and reporters gather to observe second anniversary of Kara-Murza’s unjust jailing and oppose Kremlin human rights abuses and corruption

The McCain Institute at Arizona State University (ASU) on Tuesday co-hosted “From Beyond the Bars: The Quest for Freedom and Democracy in Russia,” an event observing the two-year anniversary of the Kremlin’s unjust jailing of journalist, activist, friend, and pallbearer of the late Senator John McCain, Vladimir Kara-Murza.

Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and Representatives Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) spoke in support of Kara-Murza and other unjustly jailed Russian prisoners. Kara-Murza’s wife Evgenia stood with the lawmakers as they called on the State Department to designate him as wrongfully detained.

“What you’re watching is Vladimir Putin using the powerful soviet-style repressive machine to try and destroy [his opposition] right before your eyes. The regime targets the most courageous, the most principled; those Russians who risk not only their freedom, but very often their lives to show you that Russia can be different,” said Evgenia Kara-Murza. “As my husband put it, ‘It is my hope that when people in the free world today think and speak about Russia, they will remember not only the war criminals who are sitting in the Kremlin, but also those who are standing up to them, because we are Russians too.’”

“What drew Senator McCain and Vladimir together? Their shared interest in fighting for freedom and democracy for the Russian people, and people everywhere. The second thing that draws them together is their willingness to stand up and speak out despite considerable risks,” said McCain Institute Chief Program Officer Kristen Abrams. “Vladimir Kara-Murza is carrying on Senator McCain’s legacy of standing up for human rights. We will do whatever it takes to bring him home.”

The event was hosted by Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) Chairman Senator Ben Cardin, with participation by the McCain Institute, Free Russia Foundation, Freedom House, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Center for European Policy Analysis, the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights, the Global Justice Magnitsky Campaign, the Human Rights Foundation, The Ronald Reagan Institute, the George W. Bush Institute, and Human Rights First.

Together with these organizations and other human rights lawyers, the McCain Institute continues to elevate Vladimir’s case and advocate for his release.

Participants at the event had the opportunity to write letters directly to Kara-Murza.

Watch a recording of the event HERE.

Publish Date
April 10, 2024