MOSCOW, September 17 (RAPSI/RIA Novosti) – The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has combined and prioritized appeals lodged by seven Russians, accused of involvement in a rally that turned violent in downtown Moscow last May, against the conditions of their detention, their lawyer said Tuesday.
“The court sent a 22-page letter to the Russian government, delivering 26 questions to the Russian authorities relating to the investigation of the case and its consideration in the court,” Dmitry Agranovsky, the lawyer, told RAPSI without elaborating.
Agranovsky said that the suspects dispute the length of their detention and the conditions in which they are being held.
The ECHR prioritized appeals by Bolotnaya Square suspects Leonid Kovyazin in July and Vladimir Akimenkov and Yaroslav Belousov in August.
Russian media reports suggested that the new combined case has just added appeals by four other suspects to the three Bolotnaya Square appeals the ECHR is already considering, although no one from the ECHR was immediately available to confirm this.
Authorities say that 400 people were detained over a protest rally on Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square that ended in clashes between the protesters and the police on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s inauguration for his third presidential term in May 2012.
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.
Prominent Russian opposition figures Sergei Udaltsov and Leonid Razvozzhayev – two of the Bolotnaya Square suspects - have repeatedly denied charges that they took foreign funds to incite violence and destabilize Russia.