Jailed Kremlin critic transferred to prison in Siberia, says lawyer

Tallinn: An imprisoned Russian opposition figure has been transferred to a maximum security prison in Siberia and placed in a tiny “punishment cell”, his lawyer said on Sunday.

Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr., 42, earlier this year was convicted of treason for publicly denouncing Russia’s war in Ukraine and sentenced to 25 years in prison as part of the Kremlin’s relentless crackdown on critics.

On Thursday, he arrived at IK-6 a maximum security penal colony in the Siberian city of Omsk, his lawyer Vadim Prokhorov said in a Facebook post on Sunday.

Prokhorov said the transfer from a detention centre in Moscow, where Kara-Murza was being held pending trial and appeals, took less than three weeks.

Russian prison transfers, usually done by train, are notorious for taking a long time, sometimes weeks, during which there’s no access to prisoners, and information about their whereabouts is limited.

Kara-Murza, a journalist and an opposition activist, was jailed in April 2022. The charges against him stemmed from a speech he gave weeks prior to the arrest to the Arizona House of Representatives in which he denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

An associate of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who was killed near the Kremlin in 2015, Kara-Murza survived poisonings in 2015 and 2017 that he blamed on the Kremlin. Russian officials have denied responsibility.

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