Today, we are designating six individuals in connection with the arbitrary detention of Vladimir Kara-Murza, a prominent Russian pro-democracy activist, human rights defender, and critic of the Kremlin who has been imprisoned in Moscow since April 2022 for speaking out against Russia’s war against Ukraine.
The Department of the Treasury is designating three Russian nationals, Andrei Andreevich Zadachin, Elena Anatolievna Lenskaya, and Danila Yurievich Mikheev, due to their involvement in serious human rights abuse, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.
Zadachin is a Special Investigator assigned to the Chief Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation who ordered that a criminal case be initiated against Kara-Murza based on his expression of anti-warviews. Lenskaya is a judge of the Basmanny District Court in Moscow who oversaw Kara-Murza’s pre-trial detention hearing and ordered he be held in pre-trial detention on charges based on his exercise of the right to freedom of expression. Mikheev is being designated for providing support for serious human rights abuse, namely by serving as an expert witness on behalf of the Russian government in the hearing that resulted in Kara-Murza’s arbitrary detention.
The Department of State is also imposing visa restrictions on Zadachin and Lenskaya for their involvement in a gross violation of human rights, pursuant to Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2023.
Additionally, the Department is designating Russian government officials Oleg Mikhailovich Sviridenko, Diana Igorevna Mishchenko, and Ilya Pavlovich Kozlov pursuant to Section 1(a)(iii)(A) of E.O. 14024, which authorizes sanctions against the Russian government’s harmful activities. Sviridenko is the Russian Deputy Minister of Justice who oversees the prosecution of criminal cases, including the criminal case to which Kara-Murza is subject. Mishchenko is the judge who issued the initial ruling approving Kara-Murza’s arrest and sentenced him to 15 days in jail. Kozlov is the judge who denied Kara-Murza’s appeal of Mishchenko’s administrative arrest ruling.
Kara-Murza was arrested in Moscow in April 2022 after he exercised his right of freedom of expression to speak out against the Kremlin’s war of aggression against Ukraine. The Russian
Government later brought additional politically motivated charges against him, and Kara-Murza currently faces the prospect of more than 30 years in prison.
In January, the Department of State launched the “Without Just Cause” campaign calling for the release of Kara-Murza and other political prisoners worldwide. The United States reiterates its call for Kara-Murza’s immediate and unconditional release, and is committed to ensuring that Vladimir Putin’s attempts to silence critics will not succeed in suppressing the truth about his brutal war of choice against Ukraine, which continues to cause unconscionable death, abuse, and destruction.
For more information about these sanctions’ designations, please see the Department of the Treasury’s press release.
originally published at Politics - Social Gov