MOSCOW -- The Moscow-based Memorial Human Rights Center has recognized a jailed civil rights activist who had been charged with participating in unsanctioned demonstrations as a political prisoner.
In a statement on August 20, Memorial called on the Russian authorities to immediately release Konstantin Kotov, who has been sent to pretrial detention until October 15 under a controversial law that criminalizes participation in more than one unsanctioned protest within a 180-day period.
Kotov was among more than 250 people detained in Moscow on August 10 following a rally that demanded the local election commission register independent candidates on the ballot in next month's municipal elections.
If convicted, Kotov, who pleaded not guilty, might face up to five years in prison and become the second person sentenced under the heavily criticized legislation which is known as Dadin's law after Ildar Dadin -- the first and the only person convicted under the statute.
Dadin served more than a year in prison after he was convicted of the same offense in December 2015.