Those who tried to visit or write to the journalist, who is serving a 25-year sentence, were unsuccessful

The prominent Russian opposition figure Vladimir Kara-Murza, who is serving a 25-year sentence for treason, has disappeared from the Siberian prison where he was behind bars, according to his supporters.

Kara-Murza, 42, was being held in a prison in the Omsk region, but a letter sent to him by the activist and journalist Alexander Podrabinek was returned with the notation that the inmate was no longer there, Podrabinek said on Facebook.

Vadim Prokhorov, a lawyer for Kara-Murza, said another lawyer who tried to visit the political activist and journalist on Monday was told that he was not in the prison, according to the Telegram news channel Agentstvo.

“There are no grounds for his transfer and that makes it even more frightening as my husband is in the hands of the same people who tried to kill him twice, in 2015 and 2017,” his wife, Evgenia Kara-Murza, said. “I demand that the Russian government provide us with information about my husband’s whereabouts.”

Vladimir Kara-Murza, who has twice survived poisonings that he blamed on the Russian authorities, has rejected the charges against him as punishment for standing up to Vladimir Putin and likened the proceedings to the show trials under Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

Transfers within Russia’s prison system are shrouded in secrecy and inmates can disappear from contact for several weeks. Backers of Russia’s most noted opposition figure, Alexei Navalny, were alarmed in December when he could not be found.

Navalny, who is serving a 19-year sentence, resurfaced in a prison colony above the Arctic Circle. He previously had been held in the Vladimir region in central Russia, about 230km (140 miles) from Moscow.

Kara-Murza was arrested in 2022 and later sentenced to 25 years on charges stemming from a speech the same year to the Arizona House of Representatives in which he denounced Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Under Putin, moves to neutralise opposition and stifle criticism intensified after the start of the war in Ukraine, including passage of a law criminalising reports seen as defaming the Russian military.

We call on the judiciary of the Russian Federation to disclose the location of his whereabouts and to revoke the judgement.

He must be released!

According to