MOSCOW, November 11 (RAPSI/RIA Novosti) – The European Court of Human Rights has sent a number of questions to Russia over complaints lodged by seven Russians facing prosecution over their participation in anti-government protests last year.
Lawyer Dmitry Agranovsky told RAPSI on Monday that Russia is obliged to answer the ECHR’s questions by January 17. The Strasbourg court has raised general and individual issues relating to the activists and their detention.
In September, the ECHR gave priority status to the Russians’ appeals against the length of their detention and conditions while awaiting trial over a protest in Moscow on May 6 last year. The court also combined their appeals into one case.
The seven suspects to appeal to the ECHR – Vladimir Akimenkov, Yaroslav Belousov, Leonid Kovyazin, Artyom Savyolov, Mikhail Kosenko, Andrei Barabanov and Nikolai Kavkazsky – are among the 12 people who are currently on trial over the Moscow protest rally held on the eve of Vladimir Putin's inauguration for a third presidential term. The rally on Bolotnaya Square ended in clashes between protesters and the police, which each side accuses the other of initiating.
The rally’s participants and organizers have since been under criminal investigation in Russia over charges of violence against the police, and of taking part in and organizing riots.