MOSCOW, March 27 (Itar-Tass) — The Magistrates Court of the Tverskoi district of Moscow on Monday imposed a fine of 1,000 roubles on the opposition leader Ilya Yashin for bidding defiance to police officers after the rally For Fair Elections that was held in Pushkin Square on March 5. This decision was made by Judge Olga Borovkova.
Yashin was originally charged under Article 19.3 of the RF Code of Administrative Offences – “failure to comply with lawful demands of police officers,” but on Monday the judge considered that his actions should be qualified under Article 20.2 of the RF Code of Administrative Offences – “violation of the established rules of the organisation or holding of a meeting, rally, demonstration, procession or a picket” with imposing a fine as an administrative penalty.
Ilya Yashin is one of the key leaders of the Russian political movement Solidarnost. He is also the leader of the Moscow branch of the People’s Freedom Party, in which the Solidarnost participates. Until 2008 he was the leader of Yabloko party's youth wing, organising mass protests and speaking to the media about its causes. However, when he became an active member of the Solidarnost, Yabloko expelled him for “causing political damage.” Yashin is an active participant of the Strategy-31 campaign for freedom of assembly. Recently, he has spoken against the pro-Putin Nashi movement.
The court hearing was held without the participation of oppositionist who did not notify the court of his absence. In this regard, Judge Borovkova considered it possible to hold the meeting in his absence.
Two police officers who detained Yashin were questioned at the court meeting. According to them, on March 5 after the sanctioned rally in Pushkin Square, about 500 people stayed there and began to shout slogans, disturbing public order. The policemen said that law enforcement officers for about 40 minutes were requesting the crowd to go home, but the rally participants refused to leave the square and began their action. “After that it was decided to detain some participants in the unauthorised rally,” one of the policemen said.