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Moscow Court Upholds Sentence For Opposition Politician Galyamina

Yulia Galyamina speaks with reporters outside a court building before a hearing in Moscow on December 23, 2020.
Yulia Galyamina speaks with reporters outside a court building before a hearing in Moscow on December 23, 2020.

MOSCOW -- The Moscow City Court has upheld the two-year suspended sentence for an opposition politician who was convicted in December over her involvement in anti-Kremlin protest rallies.

After the court handed down the ruling on March 11, municipal lawmaker Yulia Galyamina said that it was very likely now that Moscow's city council would remove her of status as a lawmaker.

On December 28, before the Tver district court judge found her guilty of repeatedly violating the law on mass gatherings and pronounced her sentence, the outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin said at the trial that the proceedings against her had proven that Putin, investigators, security officials, and police saw 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 called the charges against Galyamina "appalling and reprehensible," and says they are 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 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 police during the protest.

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