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Russian dissident Kara-Murza wins Pulitzer Prize for commentary

by Olena Goncharova May 7, 2024 2:29 AM 2 min read
Russian opposition figure Vladimir Kara-Murza sits on a bench inside a defendants' cage during a hearing at the Basmanny court in Moscow on October 10, 2022. (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP via Getty Images)
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Jailed Russian journalist and opposition figure Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Washington Post contributing columnist, has won the Pulitzer Prize for the commentary he has been writing from his prison cell.

The Pulitzer judges noted Kara-Mura’s "passionate columns written under great personal risk from his prison cell, warning of the consequences of dissent in Vladimir Putin’s Russia and insisting on a democratic future for his country."

Kara-Murza, who has condemned Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine and lobbied for Western sanctions against Moscow, was sentenced to 25 years in prison in April 2023. He is part of a growing contingent of dissenters detained amid President Vladimir Putin's increasingly severe political crackdown.

Kara-Murza, a dual Russian-British citizen, was arrested in Russia on April 11, 2022, and charged with "treason," "spreading false information" about the Russian military and belonging to an "undesirable" foreign organization. He denied all the charges. Early in 2024, he was reportedly sent to a type of punishment cell known by its Russian initials as an EPKT, the strictest form of isolation from other prisoners.

Vadim Prokhorov, Kara-Murza’s lawyer, said in a Facebook post on May 6 that he thinks the best way to congratulate the journalist would be active efforts to get him released and corresponding public demands aimed at the Putin regime.

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