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Russian Opposition Activist Mokhnatkin Sentenced Again

A Russian opposition activist has been convicted in absentia of assaulting police and sentenced to four years and six months in prison.

Sergei Mokhnatkin was sentenced on December 10.

The court placed him on a wanted list after he failed to appear for the ruling.

Mokhnatkin was found guilty of assaulting two police officers on December 31, 2013 during a protest in Moscow.

The protest was held by Strategy-31, a group that holds demonstrations aimed to draw attention to government violations of Article 31 of the Russian Constitution, which guarantees the right of peaceful assembly.

Mokhnatkin first came to prominence in 2009 when he was sentenced to two and a half years in prison after being convicted of attacking a police officer during a similar rally that was dispersed.

He was pardoned by then-President Dmitry Medvedev in April 2012.