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Published On: Thu, Aug 10th, 2017

Russian court sentences anti-corruption protester to 4 years for “striking police officer”

nsnbc : A Moscow court, on Wednesday, sentenced Andrei Kosikh to four years in prison for allegedly “punching and kicking a police officer” during an unsanctioned anti-corruption rally.

Russia's notorious AMON police in action during an anti-corruption rally on March 26, 2017. AMON is renown, internationally, for brutal crackdown on protesters - unchanged and unreformed since the "good old Soviet days".

Russia’s notorious OMON (Amon) police in action during an anti-corruption rally on March 26, 2017. AMON is renown, internationally, for extremely brutal crackdowns on protesters – unchanged and unreformed since the “good old Soviet days”.

Kosikh is the fourth anti-corruption protester jailed for violence against police at rallies on March 26 that drew thousands onto the streets in cities across Russia calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

In all of the cases, the evidence against the accused was highly questionable and according to many independent observers “stacked against them with trumped-up charges” that have little to do with a representative political system based on citizens’ right to assemble and express political opinion.

The protests were organized by Alexei Navalny, an opposition politician who gained popularity after publishing exposes of corruption by senior officials including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Navalny intends to run for president in elections next year, despite a criminal conviction in a case widely considered to be politically motivated.

Prosecutors requested a four and a half year jail term for Kosikh, saying his attacks had caused a head injury to one officer and physical pain to another. Kosikh pleaded guilty to the charges, even though he may not necessarily be guilty as charged.

Kosikh’s mother told the court her son hit the officers after seeing them beating a woman. “He doesn’t understand himself how it happened. He’s a very emotional person, he couldn’t even harm a cat,” she told reporters.

More than 30 people were jailed for violence against police officers at a protest in Moscow in May 2012. The convictions stifled a wave of protests that followed alleged rigging of parliamentary elections in 2011.

CH/L – nsnbc 10.08.2017

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