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European Parliament Condemns Russian 'Political' Use Of Judiciary

A judge pronounces a verdict in a Sverdlovsk regional court. (file photo)
A judge pronounces a verdict in a Sverdlovsk regional court. (file photo)
STRASBOURG -- The European Parliament has passed a resolution condemning Russian officials' use of the country's judiciary for political purposes.

The resolution expresses "deep disappointment with the verdict and the disproportionate sentence," handed down on August 17, against three members of the punk protest group Pussy Riot.

It says the Pussy Riot case adds to a recent rise of politically motivated intimidation and prosecution of opposition activists.

It expresses concern about an eight-year sentence against opposition activist Taisia Osipova as well as criminal investigations that target leading opposition figures like Aleksei Navalny, Boris Nemtsov, and Sergei Udaltsov.

The resolution calls on Moscow to find and try the murderers of journalist Anna Politkovskaya and human rights activist Natalya Estemirova.

It also calls for with a credible, independent investigation of anticorruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky's 2009 death in custody. A defendant went to trial this week in connection with that case.
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