Free the Bolotnaya activists!
The United States of America today expressed deep concern on the guilty verdict against demonstrators in the Bolotnaya Square protest trial.
In her remarks in Washington DC, Deputy Department Spokesperson Maries Harf reiterated the US serious concerns about the ongoing pressure on civil society in Russia.
She said the US has seen numerous prosecutions of activists, journalists, and opposition politicians since 2012.
She pointed out that the conviction of the eight protestors reaffirms the US serious concerns about due process and rule of law in Russia.
“The United States continues to support the rights of all Russian citizens to exercise their fundamental freedoms, regardless of their political views.” – Ms. Harf
8 protestors found guilty
The Moscow court found guilty eight defendants in the Bolotnaya case and the sentences are expected to be announced on February 24.
According to media reports, hundreds of the peaceful supporters and journalists gathered around the Moscow court. They were detained by police. Some of those detained are expected to face fines up to USD 800) for participating in an “unauthorised gathering”.
On May 6, 2012, thousands of anti-government Russians took to the streets of Moscow to demand fair elections and government accountability. They were arrested during the Bolotnaya Square by the police using excessive and unlawful force. The clamor has made headlines around the world.
Many aired their views that the demonstration was predominantly peaceful. However the Russian authorities described the event as “mass riots”, allowing them to file serious charges against the accused.
Amnesty International is calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Artiom Saviolov, Stepan Zimin, Denis Lutskevich, Aleksey Polikhovich, Sergey Krivov and Yaroslav Belousov whom the rights organization considered as prisoners of conscience. The organization demands that all charges against them should be dropped.