MOSCOW, February 24 (The Voice Project) – With the Olympics over, it’s quickly back to business as usual for Russia. A court in Moscow has today sentenced seven of the Bolotnaya Square protesters to up to four years in prison for their involvement in an anti-Putin protests on May 6th of 2012.
While the US State Department issued a statement on Friday that the “politically-motivated trial that points to serious concerns about due process and rule of law in Russia,” the sentences read out today at court in Moscow for seven defendants ranged from two and half to four years.
Sergei Krivov was given 4 years, Andrei Barabanov: 3 years and 7 months, Stepan Zimin and Aleksei Polikhovitch: 3 years and 6 months, Artyom Savyolov: 2 years and 7 months, and Yaroslav Belousov: 2 years and 6 months. An eighth protester, Alexandra Dukhanina, the only woman on trial, was sentenced to probation despite a request from prosecutors for a 6 year jail term. State prosecutors had recommended at least five years imprisonment for all of the defendants.
Outside the court, police broke up protests and arrested more than 100 people for disturbing the peace, including Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, as well as Tolokonnikova’s husband, Peter Verzilov.
Many have alleged that sentencing for the Bolotnaya case was delayed until after this weekend’s Olympic closing ceremony.