Accessibility links

Breaking News

Watchdog

Vladimir Akimenkov in a Moscow court in March 2013.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that Russia violated the rights of a man who was jailed in connection with a protest on the eve of President Vladimir Putin's last inauguration.

In a ruling issued on February 6, the ECHR said Russian authorities violated the rights of Vladimir Akimenkov when he was detained over the protest on Moscow's Bolotnaya Square on May 6, 2012.

The court ordered Russia to pay Akimenkov 10,000 euros ($12,400).

The decision supported Akimenkov's claim that authorities violated articles of the European Convention on Human Rights -- including a ban on torture and the right to liberty and security.

Akimenkov, an activist from the opposition Levy Front (the Left Front) movement, spent 18 months in pretrial detention despite health problems.

In December 2013, before facing a trial, Akimenkov was released under a mass amnesty offered by Putin to mark the 20th anniversary of Russia's Constitution.

More than 400 people were detained after clashes erupted at the 2012 Bolotnaya protest. Police and protesters blame each other for the violence.

The rally was one of a series of large opposition protests sparked by anger over evidence of widespread electoral fraud in Russia's December 2011 parliamentary elections and about 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.

Kosenko was among hundreds of people detained after participating in a protest on Moscow's Bolotnaya Square in 2012. (file photo)

A Russian court has canceled an order imposing psychiatric treatment on an activist who participated in a protest on the eve of President Vladimir Putin's inauguration to his current term, his sister says.

A court in Moscow ruled on February 6 to free Mikhail Kosenko from compulsory psychiatric treatment, his sister Ksenia wrote in a message on Twitter.

Kosenko was among more than 400 people detained after participating in a protest on Moscow's Bolotnaya Square on May 6, 2012 during which opposition activists clashed with police. Protesters and police blame each another for the violence.

Kosenko was convicted of participating in the unrest and assaulting a police officer, and his sentence was forced psychiatric treatment.

He was released in July 2014 to continue treatment in an outpatient clinic.

Last month, a court in the southwestern region of Astrakhan ruled that another participant in the Bolotnaya Square protest, Maksim Panfilov, must be transferred to "ambulatory treatment not linked to placement in a psychiatric clinic."

Panfilov was diagnosed with suffering from a neuropsychiatric disorder.

An opposition protester is detained by police in Bolotnaya Square in May 2012.
An opposition protester is detained by police in Bolotnaya Square in May 2012.

The protest on Bolotnaya Square was one of a series of large opposition protests sparked mainly by anger over evidence of widespread 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 terms or served time in pretrial detention.

The last imprisoned Bolotnaya activist, Ivan Nepomnyashchikh, was released in August after serving a 30-month sentence. He left Russia for the United States two weeks later.

The last suspect in the case, Dmitry Buchenkov, who insisted that he was not even in Moscow when the protest took place, has also fled Russia.

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

Load more

About This Blog

"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

Subscribe

Journalists In Trouble

RFE/RL journalists take risks, face threats, and make sacrifices every day in an effort to gather the news. Our "Journalists In Trouble" page recognizes their courage and conviction, and documents the high price that many have paid simply for doing their jobs. More

XS
SM
MD
LG