Seven of the eight Bolotnaya Case defendants have been given prison sentences by the Zamoskvoretsky court in Moscow.
Announced on February 24th, the court sentenced seven men – Andrei Barabanov, Yaroslav Belousov, Sergei Krivov, Denis Lutskevich, Alexei Polikhovich, Artem Savyolov, and Stepan Zimin, to prison terms of between two and a half and four years (see exact terms below). A young woman, Alexandra Dukhanina, was given a suspended sentence.
All of the defendants had been found guilty of organizing mass riots and violent actions against the police, despite the fact that the prosecution were unable to furnish significant evidence.
The Bolotnaya Case defendants are listening to the verdict. Photo: Reuters
According to the Interfax news agency the defence counsel for the the Bolotnaya prisoners will appeal the verdict. Russia’s Human Rights ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin, said that he considered the verdict to be overly harsh and planned to support the appeal.
The sentencing was accompanied by protests outside the courtroom, and by the detention of some of the protesters. Among those detained by the police are opposition leaders, Alexei Navalny and Ilya Yashin, a journalist Sergei Parkhomenko and two Pussy Riot members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina. Interfax reports that the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Moscow have confirmed that over 200 people have been taken to police stations for violating public order offences.
Alexei Navalny is being detained. Photo: RIA Novosti
Meanwhile, the Echo of Moscow reports that central Moscow is full of police and that metal fences have been put at the entrance to Red Square, the entrance to which is restricted. Earlier, the Moscow Mayor’s Office warned against unsanctioned protest. However, the warning may be ignored by civil rights activists supporting the Bolotnaya Case defendants who are planning to demonstrate in Manezhnaya Square in protest against the verdict.
The individual sentences are:
Andrei Barabanov – 3.7 years in prison
Yaroslav Belousov – 2.6 years in prison
Sergei Krivov – 4 years in prison
Denis Lutskevich – 3.6 years in prison
Alexei Polikhovich – 3.6 years in prison
Artem Savyolov – 2.7 years in prison
Stepan Zimin – 3.6 years in prison
Alexandra Dukhanina – suspended sentence
Profiles of each case can be seen on the Institute of Modern Russia website