Vladimir Kara-Murza

Senior Advisor, Human Rights Accountability

Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian activist, politician, and filmmaker, has been a senior advisor to Human Rights First on human rights accountability since 2020. He was arrested in Russia in April 2022 for speaking out against the Russian government’s brutality in Ukraine and at home, and he remains arbitrarily imprisoned after being convicted in a sham trial and given a 25-year prison sentence.

A longtime colleague of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir played a key role in the passage of the original Magnitsky legislation, which imposed targeted sanctions on Russian human rights violators. Twice, in 2015 and 2017, he was poisoned and left in a coma; the attempts on his life were widely viewed as the Russian government’s retribution for his work on the Magnitsky sanctions. Since his imprisonment, governments around the world have imposed Magnitsky sanctions on his persecutors.

Vladimir is a contributing writer at the Washington Post and has continued to write op-eds from prison. He previously hosted a weekly show on Echo of Moscow radio, and has worked for the BBC, RTVi, and Kommersant. He has directed three documentary films, They Chose Freedom, Nemtsov, and My Duty to Not Stay Silent, and is the author of Reform or Revolution: The Quest for Responsible Government in the First Russian State Duma.

He has received several awards, including the Sakharov Prize for Journalism as an Act of Conscience, the Magnitsky Human Rights Award, and the Geneva Summit Courage Award. He holds an M.A. (Cantab.) in History from Cambridge. He is a Russian and British citizen and a U.S. permanent resident.