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Court Again Fines Moscow Designer Konovalov Who Says Police Broke His Leg

Konstantin Konovalov being detained in Moscow on July 27, 2019
Konstantin Konovalov being detained in Moscow on July 27, 2019

A Moscow district court in Russia has again fined a prominent animation and graphic designer 10,000 rubles ($153) for taking part in an unauthorized protest in the capital on July 27.

Konstantin Konovalov on February 25 was found guilty of violating the country’s public assembly laws.

Previously, he had already been fined the same 10,000 rubles, but Konovalov appealed -- and the Moscow City Court in January reversed the ruling of four months earlier, sending the case back for a new trial to a lower court.

Konovalov says he didn’t intend to take part in the July protest, which was staged against the official exclusion of opposition candidates from ballots in municipal elections.

A harsh police crackdown quashed the rally, drawing criticism in the West for their perceived "disproportionate" and "indiscriminate" use of force.

However, the designer has stated he was going for a routine jog three hours before the scheduled start of the rally. Because his favorite venue, Osip Bove Park, was closed, Konovalov decided to take a route through Moscow’s central streets.

Police detained him during the jog, forcing him to lie face down on the concrete, stepping on his legs and allegedly fracturing one of them.

He spent months in a cast and had to undergo rehabilitation.

Before the protest even began, 89 people were detained.

A court on September 17 fined Konovalov 10,000 rubles ($162) for disorderly conduct.

Based on a report Konovalov filed, the Investigative Committee subsequently said it found no reason to bring a criminal case on excessive use of force by the police.

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