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Last Convicted Russian 'Bolotnaya' Protester Released From Prison


Ivan Nepomnyashchikh is shown after being released from prison after serving a 30-month sentence in the Yaroslavl region on August 24.

The last Russian activist imprisoned following clashes at a protest on the eve of President Vladimir Putin's inauguration to his current term has been released after serving his 30-month sentence.

The NGO Public Verdict and supporters of opposition politician Aleksei Navalny in the Yaroslavl Oblast said on social media that Ivan Nepomnyashchikh left a prison in the region northeast of Moscow on August 24.

Nepomnyashchikh was released directly from solitary confinement, where he had been placed several days ago.

But a court has ruled that for three years after his release, Nepomnyashchikh, who is in his mid-20s, must not participate in street protests and needs permission to leave his home between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. or leave the Moscow Oblast, the region that rings but does not include the capital. Public Verdict has appealed that ruling.

Nepomnyashchikh is the last activist to be convicted to date in connection with a May 6, 2012, rally on Moscow's Bolotnaya Square, where police detained more than 400 people after clashes that police and demonstrators blame on one another.

The rally was one of a series of large opposition protests sparked mainly by anger over electoral fraud and dismay at 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.

Amnesty International has said that the police action at the rally "was not the quelling of a riot but the crushing of a protest" and that all those prosecuted are "victims of a politically motivated show trial."

One Bolotnaya protester, Maksim Panfilov, has been committed to a psychiatric hospital in the southern city of Astrakhan.

Dmitry Buchenkov, who is currently on trial in Moscow on charges of assaulting police during the Bolotnaya protest, says that he was not even there.

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