[QODLink]
Europe

Russian court sentences anti-Putin protesters

Riots erupt outside court as seven given jail terms of up to four years for 2012 protest against Russian president.

Last updated: 25 Feb 2014 00:32
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

A Russian court has sentenced seven people to up to four years in jail for a 2012 protest against Vladimir Putin, sparking riots outside the court and mass arrests. 

Andrei Belousov, a 22-year-old student, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail. Investigators accused Belousov of throwing an "unidentified yellow object of spherical shape" at police during the protest. He stated it was a lemon.

Hundreds of the protesters' supporters gathered outside the court to condemn the trial and the Kremlin's crackdown on opposition. Police arrested about 70 of them, accusing them of violating public order.

Among those held were members of the punk band, Pussy Riot, who had spent nearly two years in prison as punishment for their own anti-Putin protest.

The defendants sentenced on Monday were among 28 people rounded up after the May 6, 2012, protest on the eve of Putin's inauguration for a third presidential term.

The rally turned violent after police restricted access to Bolotnaya Square, across the river from the Kremlin, where the protesters had permission to gather.

The defendants were found guilty last week, but sentencing was postponed until Monday. They had been in custody for nearly two years.

An eighth defendant, Anastasia Dukhanina, 20, who has been under house arrest since the riots, was given a suspended sentence.

Belousov's lawyer, Dmitry Agranovsky, said he believed the harsh punishment was in part a Kremlin reaction to the violent protests in neighbouring Ukraine that toppled an unpopular government last week.

During its reports on the trial, Russian state television showed footage of the 2012 Moscow protest alongside bloody images of beaten protesters and police in Ukraine, with the unspoken message that this could have been Russia.

273

Source:
Al Jazeera And AP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.