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Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul delivered remarks on the House Floor in support of H.Con.Res. 27, which condemns the detention of Vladimir Kara-Murza, a strong advocate for human rights and democracy in Russia. After Putin invaded Ukraine in 2022, Mr. Kara-Murza spoke out against the war and returned to Russia to advocate for peace where he was promptly arrested and sentenced to 25 years in prison. During his remarks, Chairman McCaul highlighted the harsh prison conditions and called for Mr. Kara-Murza’s immediate release. 


— Remarks as delivered — 

Vladimir Kara-Murza has been locked away in Putin’s gulags for over two years. 

His only crime was standing up for human rights and democracy in Russia. For speaking out against Putin’s genocidal war of aggression against Ukraine. 

He is a lawful American permanent resident and his wife, and children are American citizens.

We should all be deeply concerned by his unjust imprisonment.

Mr. Kara-Murza is well known for his work exposing the Kremlin’s corruption and fighting for a free and democratic Russia.

Despite two assassination attempts which nearly killed him and left him with permanent side effects that linger to this day, Mr. Kara-Murza has continued his brave work undeterred.

He understands the importance of exposing Putin and his cronies for who they really are to the world.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Mr. Kara-Murza immediately began shining a light on Russia’s atrocities.

Like many of us in this chamber, he knew he could not be silent as Russian forces raped and murdered their way through Ukraine.

In response, the Kremlin alleged that he was spreading false information about the Russian military.  

In April 2022, Mr. Kara-Murza briefly and bravely returned to Russia to advocate against the war to his fellow Russians and was promptly arrested. 

That is what happens when you contradict the regime’s narrative in a totalitarian state. Mr. Kara-Murza knew the risk, but he returned anyway.

Since his arrest, he has languished in harsh prison conditions without adequate access to medical care.

Last year, the Kremlin sentenced him to 25 years in prison. Due to his lingering side effects from two assassination attempts as well as the awful conditions in Putin’s gulags, this is effectively a death sentence. 

Unfortunately, Mr. Kara-Murza is just one of many political prisoners in Russia.

American journalists like Evan Gershkovich and Alsu Kurmasheva and wrongfully imprisoned Marine Corps veteran Paul Whelan have all been detained by Putin’s regime on bogus charges.  

They deserve our attention and I call for their immediate release, in addition to Mr. Kara-Murza’s.

America must hold Russia to account for their continued aggression, war crimes, [and crimes] against humanity.

We need to do everything in our power to secure Mr. Kara-Murza’s release as well as the release of every unjustly detained American overseas.

And so with that, I urge my colleagues to support this measure, and reserve the balance of my time.