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ST. PETERSBURG, August 31 (Itar-Tass) — About ten participants in an unpermitted rally in downtown St. Petersburg have been detained. The local police department has not posted an official report on the number of detainees.
Other Russia unregistered party activists attempted another Strategy 31 action near the Gostiny Dvor metro station on Friday. The detentions started as soon as they put up signs in support of ‘political prisoners.’ The police warned the protesters that their action was not permitted by the city authorities. Journalists, policemen and protesters are standing near the metro station now.
The local organization of Other Russia said earlier that the action was dedicated to Taisia Osipova convicted of a drug crime this week. The Smolensk Regional Court sentenced to eight years Other Russia activist Osipova on Tuesday on drug peddling charges. The prosecutor demanded four years earlier.
The Smolensk Zadneprovsky District Court found Osipova guilty of selling drugs and sentenced her to ten years in December 2011. The lawyers said it was a setup. The case triggered a broad public response, and actions were held in defense of Osipova. The defenders said her case was politically motivated.
Then President Dmitry Medvedev paid attention to the case and ordered the Prosecutor General’s Office to analyze it. “Certainly, I do not know this case and cannot say whether the sentence is lawful or not. Yet there is a lot of noise around this case. We must find out whether she really stored drugs. The sentence of ten years on the mother of small children is too big, even if she is guilty,” the president said.
The Smolensk Regional Court cancelled the ten-year sentence on February 15 and a new investigation started. Nevertheless, Osipova stayed in custody in spite of the reduced charges, her small child and a number of diseases.