The UK Government announced Monday that it has sanctioned six people involved in Russia’s sentencing of dual British-Russian national Vladimir Kara-Murza after his appeal was rejected. The government sanctioned three judges, two prosecutors and an “expert witness” over what it has called “politically motivated targeting.”
Those sanctioned include:
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly called for the immediate release of Mr Kara-Murza and said the UK “… will continue to support Mr Kara-Murza and his family, who have worked tirelessly to try and secure his release.”
Kara-Murza, a political activist and journalist, was sentenced to 25 years in prison in April on charges including treason, spreading false information and affiliation with an “undesirable organisation,” all of which are related to his criticism of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.
The sanctions come as Mariana Katzarova, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Russian Federation, appealed to Russia last Friday for the release of Kara-Murza, whose life is at risk due to deteriorating health.
As of July 20, 2023, 1,612 individuals and 229 entities connected with Russia are subject to UK sanctions and almost 1,800 Russian -affiliated individuals and entities are subject to EU sanctions. The UK has targeted over 130 Russian oligarchs with a net worth of over £145 billion. The UK had previously stated under Prime Minister Liz Truss that “nothing is off the table in our response to Putin’s aggression towards Ukraine.” Such sanctions have been in place since Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014.
The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 came fully into force on 31 December 2020. According to the UK sanctions regime, “these sanctions are intended to ensure that certain sanctions relating to Russia continue to operate effectively.” The sanctions regime merged three Russia-related sanctions regimes from the EU (269/2014, 692/2014 and 833/2014) and is aimed at encouraging Russia to cease actions destabilizing Ukraine or undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty or independence of Ukraine under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018.