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Moscow Court Hands Two-Year Suspended Sentence To Opposition Politician Galyamina

Yulia Galyamina arrives at court for a hearing into her case on October 21.
Yulia Galyamina arrives at court for a hearing into her case on October 21.

MOSCOW -- A court in Moscow has handed local opposition politician Yulia Galyamina a two-year suspended sentence for her involvement in anti-Kremlin rallies.

The Tver district court on December 23 found Galyamina, an opposition member of a Moscow district council, guilty of repeatedly violating rules on public gatherings by organizing and staging unsanctioned rallies and protests in Moscow.

Dozens of Galyamina's supporters gathered in front of the court as the verdict was handed down to support the outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin.

In her final statement during the trial ealier in the week, Galyamina told Putin, investigators, security officials and police that the proceedings proved they see her as a "real threat."

"I am a teacher, a municipal lawmaker, a politician who calls for nonviolent change, for honest political struggle, for a decent life for people. I'm a woman who is a threat to a man, who seems to have all possible powers. However, that man is just a little man who is scared of a woman's soft power," Galyamina said.

Amnesty International has condemned the charges against Galyamina as "appalling and reprehensible," saying they were aimed at "silencing a major dissenting voice and threatening to ban her political activities."

Galyamina was involved in a campaign against what she says are "illegal plans" by Putin to remain in power beyond his term limits.

Her team organized a peaceful rally in central Moscow in July against constitutional reforms introduced in 2020 that give Putin an option to remain in power for as many as 16 more years if he wins two more elections after his current term expires in 2024.

Dozens of people were detained by the police during the protest.