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Russian 'Bolotnaya' Protester In Solitary Confinement Days Before Release


Amnesty International has said that the police action at the May 2012 rally "was not the quelling of a riot but the crushing of a protest," and that all those prosecuted were "victims of a politically motivated show trial."

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 placed in solitary confinement days before his scheduled release, a lawyer says.

Irina Biryukova of legal-aid NGO Obshchestvenny Verdikt (Public Verdict) wrote on Facebook on August 22 that Ivan Nepomnyashchikh was to be released from a prison in the Yaroslavl region northeast of Moscow on August 24 after serving a 30-month sentence.

Nepomnyashchikh has been placed in solitary confinement repeatedly after he and two other inmates said in April that they had been beaten by guards.

In July, the prison administration successfully petitioned a local court to place Nepomnyashchikh on parole for three years after his release.

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 were "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.

With reporting by OVD-Info
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