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European Court Orders Russia To Compensate Bolotnaya Protester


Vladimir Akimenkov in a Moscow court in March 2013.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that Russia violated the rights of a man who was jailed in connection with a protest on the eve of President Vladimir Putin's last inauguration.

In a ruling issued on February 6, the ECHR said Russian authorities violated the rights of Vladimir Akimenkov when he was detained over the protest on Moscow's Bolotnaya Square on May 6, 2012.

The court ordered Russia to pay Akimenkov 10,000 euros ($12,400).

The decision supported Akimenkov's claim that authorities violated articles of the European Convention on Human Rights -- including a ban on torture and the right to liberty and security.

Akimenkov, an activist from the opposition Levy Front (the Left Front) movement, spent 18 months in pretrial detention despite health problems.

In December 2013, before facing a trial, Akimenkov was released under a mass amnesty offered by Putin to mark the 20th anniversary of Russia's Constitution.

More than 400 people were detained after clashes erupted at the 2012 Bolotnaya protest. Police and protesters blame each other for the violence.

The rally was one of a series of large opposition protests sparked by anger over evidence of widespread electoral fraud in Russia's December 2011 parliamentary elections and about Putin's decision to return to the presidency after a four-year stint as prime minister.

More than 30 people were prosecuted in connection with the clashes, and more than 20 were sentenced to prison or served time in pretrial custody.

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