The U.S. House of Representatives demands that Russia release Ukrainian citizens convicted of religious beliefs
The text of the resolution is published on the Congress website, Radio Svoboda (Radio Liberty) reports.
The document says that the House of Representatives condemns the practice of imprisonment for political reasons and demands that the Russian authorities release persons recognized as political prisoners, in particular, by the Memorial human rights center. The resolution provides several specific names: Alexey Pichugin, a former Yukos employee, activists Konstantin Kotov and Anastasia Shevchenko, journalist Igor Rudnikov (he is already at large), Yuri Dmitriev, a researcher of Stalin's repressions, and Dennis Christensen, who was convicted in connection with the activities of the Jehovah's Witnesses religious organization banned in Russia.
The resolution calls on all U.S. representatives in negotiations with Russia to raise the topic of political prisoners. It also calls for applying the Magnitsky Act or other sanctions laws to persons responsible for illegal deprivation of Liberty in Russia.
Congressional resolutions are advisory in nature.
Memorial's list of political prisoners includes more than 300 people, most of them convicted for membership in religious organizations recognized as extremist in Russia.
We are talking, in particular, about the organization "Hizb ut-Tahrir", which before the attempted annexation of Crimea in 2014 operated legally in Ukraine.