Appeal lodged with ECtHR by lawyers of the amnestied “Bolotnaya” defendants

An appeal has been lodged with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) by the defence team for the Bolotnaya protesters granted an amnesty on the grounds that their clients’ rights were violated. According to Zaks.ru, the news was announced on Monday 16 June by the lawyer Dmitry Arganovsky, who represents one of those sentenced.

 

ITAR-TASS reports Argnovsky as saying, "We have submitted an appeal in connection with the violation of the rights of those involved in the Bolotnaya case who were later granted an amnesty. We believe that Articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms have been violated – the right to freedom of speech and the right to freedom of assembly.”

The court proceedings in connection with the mass disturbances on Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square were initiated in response to the events on 6 May 2012, when an officially sanctioned opposition rally deteriorated into clashes with the police. Over 400 people were detained.

A criminal case was opened under Article 212 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Mass disturbances”) and Article 318 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation ("Violence against representatives of the authorities"). A total of around 30 people were charged in connection with the main so-called “Bolotnaya" investigation.

Criminal proceedings against eight of the defendants were dropped following the amnesty declared in honour of the 20th anniversary of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. On 24 February 2014, eight of the protesters were found guilty by a court and received penalties ranging from suspended sentences to four years in prison.

Translated by Joanne Reynolds