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Polish state honour for imprisoned Russian activist

23.11.2023 19:30
Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian opposition activist and political prisoner, has been awarded a Polish state decoration in recognition of his contribution to the defence of human rights in Russia, the Polish foreign ministry said on Thursday.
The Polish foreign ministry building in Warsaw.
The Polish foreign ministry building in Warsaw.Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell

The honour, the Pro Dignitate Humana Award of the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, was officially bestowed on him the day before by Poland's top diplomat, Zbigniew Rau.

The Polish foreign ministry said in a statement that Kara-Murza "has always demonstrated an uncompromising attitude in defence of the persecuted."

From 2015 to 2017, "several attempts to poison him took place but he remained in Russia despite the threat to his life, even after the onset of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine," according to the statement.

Kara-Murza was arrested in April last year "and then sentenced to 25 years in prison for treason, diffusion of 'misinformation' about the Russian army, and involvement in an 'undesirable organisation,'" the statement said.

It added that Kara-Murza "has always sought to highlight the plight of political prisoners in Russia" and that he "has himself become one of them."

Honouring the Russian human rights defender with the award "is an important sign of support for both the dissident himself and that part of Russia’s civil society which disagrees with the policies of their government," the Polish foreign ministry also said.

The Pro Dignitate Humana award has been conferred annually for 12 years by the Polish foreign minister to an individual or a nongovernmental organisation in recognition of uncompromising actions to defend the rights of repressed people and those at risk of repression, as well as a steadfast attitude in defence of individual rights and respect for human dignity, according to the Polish foreign ministry.


Source: PAP, gov.pl