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Russian Activist Arrested Over March 26 Protest Recognized As Political Prisoner

  • RFE/RL

Anticorruption rallies held in Moscow and about 100 other Russian cities on March 26 were among the largest protests since a wave of demonstrations in 2011-12.

The Moscow-based human rights group Memorial has recognized an activist who is charged with attacking a police officer during an antigovernment protest in March as a political prisoner.

Memorial said in an August 21 statement that Dmitry Borisov, who has been in pretrial detention since June 9, was a political prisoner.

Anticorruption rallies held in Moscow and about 100 other Russian cities on March 26 were among the largest protests since a wave of demonstrations in 2011-12. Many were held without government permission.

Police detained more than 1,000 people in Moscow alone, including Aleksei Navalny, the Putin foe and anticorruption crusader who called for the protests.

Seven people, including Borisov, were arrested on suspicion of attacking police officers at the Moscow rally. Four of them have been convicted and sentenced to prison terms ranging from eight months to four years.

Some of them were sent to serve their terms in so-called colony settlements, penitentiaries in which convicts live close to an industrial facility or a farm where they work.

Borisov is the fifth March 26 protester to be recognized by Memorial as a political prisoner.

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