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Medvedev: there are no political prisoners in Russia

December 06, 2013, 14:30 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"No matter what political convictions you have, it’s inadmissible to beat policemen," Russia's prime minister stressed
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexander Astafyev

MOSCOW, December 06. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev does not think that there are political prisoners in Russia. “If you believe that we have political prisoners, then I don’t think so,” he said in a live interview with Russia’s major national television channels Friday.

The Russian government head said that there had been such prisoners in Russia in the past. “During the Soviet period there were political prisoners in our country that were serving their terms for political convictions,” he said. “Today, there are no such people in the country,” the prime minister stressed.

All those who are now called political prisoners in Russia, according to the prime minister, are not political prisoners. “Yes, probably, they are opposed to the government, they have their own political beliefs, but it’s not for what they are serving time. They are serving sentences or are in custody pending trial because they have grossly violated the public order,” Medvedev said.

He added that no matter what political convictions you have, it’s inadmissible to beat policemen. “They are serving time not because they have political views that differ from the political views of Putin, Medvedev, United Russia, but for beating policemen - this is unacceptable either in Russia or Ukraine or in Europe or in any other country,” the prime minister said.

Therefore, he said, only those who assign ideological implications to this or entrench upon the truth can speak of political prisoners in Russia.

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