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Watchdog Calls For Jailed Russian Anti-Landfill Protester Leader To Be Freed


Vyacheslav Yegorov (center), an activist from Kolomna, led several peaceful rallies protesting against the dumping of garbage from Moscow.

Amnesty International is calling on the Russian authorities to release an imprisoned environmental activist who led anti-landfill protests near Moscow in 2018.

Vyacheslav Yegorov was sentenced last month to 15 months in prison on a charge of repeatedly violating regulations on holding public gatherings, and detained.

Ahead of Yegorov's appeal hearing scheduled for later this month, Amnesty International on November 5 called for the charges against him to be dropped, and for the activist to be released.

Yegorov's sentencing comes amid an intensifying crackdown on civil society, independent media, and the opposition across Russia.

Yegorov led several peaceful rallies protesting against the dumping of garbage from Moscow in landfills in the area of Kolomna, a historic city of some 140,000 people located about 120 kilometers southeast of the Russian capital.

He was held under house arrest in February 2019 after being charged with Article 212.1 of the Criminal Code that criminalizes "repeated violation of regulations of public assemblies."

He was released six months later, but the charges were not dropped.

Article 212.1 was introduced in 2014 "as part of the Russian government's measures to curtail freedom of assembly and contravenes Russia's human rights obligations," according to Amnesty International.

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