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Russian Prosecutor Seeks Six Years For Mathematician On Charges He Denies

Azat Miftakhov said police tortured him to try and make him confess to the charges.
Azat Miftakhov said police tortured him to try and make him confess to the charges.

The prosecutor in a high-profile trial in Moscow has asked a court to sentence Azat Miftakhov, a mathematician who says he was tortured in custody, to six years in prison on hooliganism charges.

Miftakhov's lawyer, Svetlana Sidorkina, said on December 23 that the defendant, who has rejected all of the charges and believes he was targeted by police because of his anarchist views, and his lawyers will testify as the process resumes on December 25.

Miftakhov, 25, a postgraduate mathematics student at Moscow State University, was arrested on February 1, 2019, and accused of helping make an improvised bomb found in January in the city of Balashikha near Moscow.

The Public Monitoring Commission, a human rights group, has said that Miftakhov's body bore the signs of torture, which the student claimed were the result of investigators unsuccessfully attempting to force him to confess to the bomb-making charge.

Others who were detained along with Miftakhov, but later released, have also claimed to have been beaten by the police.

Miftakhov was released on February 7, 2019, after the initial charge failed to hold, but he was rearrested immediately and charged with involvement in an arson attack on the ruling United Russia party's office in Moscow in January 2018.

A prominent Russian human rights organization, Memorial, has declared Miftakhov a political prisoner.

A series of demonstrations demanding Miftakhov's immediate release have been held in Moscow and other cities in Russia since his arrest.

Based on reporting by Novaya gazeta and Meduza