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European human rights watchdog welcomes court’s ruling on Russian opposition activist

February 22, 2017, 18:42 UTC+3 PARIS

Earlier on Wednesday, Russia’s Supreme Court repealed the guilty verdict and released opposition activist Ildar Dadin

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Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner

Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner

© AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici

PARIS, February 22. /TASS/. Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks has welcomed the decision of Russia’s Supreme Court to review its guilty verdict against opposition activist Ildar Dadin.

"I welcome Russian Supreme Court’s decision to drop prosecution of Dadin. Freedom of Assembly must be better protected in Russia," he said on his official Twitter account.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Presidium of Russia’s Supreme Court reviewed the guilty verdict slapped against the opposition activist by Moscow’s Basmanny District Court and ruled to repeal it, terminate the criminal case and release Dadin from the penal colony, to which he was earlier sent to serve his sentence.

Russia’s top court has also recognized Dadin’s right to rehabilitation.

The Supreme Court’s ruling has entered into force and cannot be appealed against.

According to lawyers, it is not known yet whether Dadin will seek compensation for his illegal criminal prosecution.

Dadin’s case

Article 212.1, introduced in the Russian Criminal Code in July 2014, stipulates criminal liability for repeated violations of the rules of public gatherings. Dadin is the first and by far the only one person convicted under this article.

In December 2015, Moscow’s Basmanny District Court found Dadin guilty on four counts of participating in unauthorized protests in Moscow. He was sentenced to three years in a penal colony but then the Moscow City Court reduced his jail term to two and a half years.

Dadin filed an appeal against the article under which he had been convicted with the Constitutional Court.

In November 2016, the Russian media published a letter by Dadin saying that he was subject to torture while serving his sentence in the Segezh colony in Karelia, northwestern Russia. However, independent doctors who visited him in the colony found no signs of bodily injuries, neither did investigators. Later it became known that after a probe, Dadin was transferred to a penal colony in the Altai region, Siberia.

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