BERLIN (Reuters) – The foreign ministers of Germany and the Baltic states said they strongly condemned the arrest and sentencing of Russian human rights activists and called on Russia to release them immediately, according to a joint statement issued on Wednesday.
“In parallel to its war, Russia has further intensified suppression of free speech, punishing its own citizens for their opposition to violence and repressing pro-peace protesters,” the ministers of Germany, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania said in the statement.
“The Ministers strongly condemn the arbitrary arrest and sentencing of Russian human rights defenders and peace activists, such as Vladimir Kara-Murza, and call for their immediate release,” they said.
Vladimir Kara-Murza, vice-president of the Free Russia Foundation, a Washington-based non-profit organisation, was one of around 200 people detained by Russian police at a meeting of independent and opposition politicians in Moscow last month.
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan, editing by Thomas Escritt)