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Yekaterinburg Protesters Demand Rights Activist's Release

Aleksei Sokolov
Some 100 protesters gathered in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg to demand the immediate release of a human rights activist, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Aleksei Sokolov, a member of the Public Monitoring Commission that deals with rights in the country's prison system, was charged with a robbery that took place five years ago in the town of Bogdanovichi, in Sverdlovsk Oblast.

He was arrested on May 13.

Protesters in front of the Russian presidential representative's building in Yekaterinburg held signs calling Sokolov's arrest "a sham."

Sokolov's wife, Gulya Sokolova, told RFE/RL that her husband's arrest is politically motivated and connected to his professional activities.

The protesters signed an open letter to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev urging him to get involved in the case.