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Russian Activist Fined, Sentenced To Jail In Moscow


MOSCOW -- An opposition activist has been sentenced in Moscow to seven days in jail for refusing to follow police instructions, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Oleg Prudnikov of the opposition Left Front movement was sentenced on November 22. He was one of six opposition activists arrested in Moscow on the previous day during a protest about upcoming elections. The other five were released earlier on November 22.

Left Front coordinator Sergei Udaltsov told RFE/RL that Prudnikov was also fined 500 rubles ($16).

The six activists were detained in front of the building of the Central Election Commission (TsIK) in Moscow when they attempted to hold a protest under the slogan "Burying Elections."

Dozens of activists representing Left Front and other opposition groups, such as the Other Russia Party, the Party of People's Liberty, and the Solidarity and Working Russia movements brought funeral wreaths to lay near the TsIK headquarters to symbolize the "death" of Russian democracy.

But they were blocked and dispersed by police.

Elections to the Russian State Duma and local councils are scheduled for December 4. Opposition parties and movements say local election commissions frequently refuse to register their candidates in order to facilitate an election victory for the ruling United Russia party.

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