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ECHR awards 10,000-euro compensation to Russian ‘Bolotnaya’ protester

The court concluded that the detention and pre-trial custody of the applicant were groundless
Vladimir Akimenkov Zurab Javakhadze/TASS
Vladimir Akimenkov
© Zurab Javakhadze/TASS

PARIS, February 6. /TASS/. The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on Tuesday partially satisfied the complaint of Russian national Vladimir Akimenkov against Russia over his detention during the protests in Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square on May 6, 2012, and awarded him 10,000 euros in punitive damages, according to the Strasbourg-based court’s decision, which was sent to the TASS bureau in Paris.

The court ruled that the Russian side had violated paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms - on the Right to liberty and security - concluding that the detention and pre-trial custody of the applicant were groundless. The Court also found that Russia violated the Article 3 of the Convention (on the prohibition of torture) pointing out that Akimenkov was put in a "glass box" [a convoy room where a suspect remained] during the hearing of his case in the Moscow court. The ECHR also granted Akimenkov’s application under this article over the inadmissible conditions of his delivery to the court.

At the same time, the ECHR found no violation of Article 3 of the Convention concerning the part of the complaint over Akimenkov's detention conditions and his allegations regarding the insufficient level of medical care he had received.

On May 6, 2012, an authorized rally dubbed "the March of Millions" in Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square spiraled into clashes between demonstrators and the police. The opposition accused the police of obstructing the procession and rally, while the police accused the opposition of intentionally stirring up provocations.

More than 400 people were detained during police efforts to restore order. According to organizers, about 20,000 people took part in the event, whereas police said about 8,000 people took to the streets.

On the day of the ‘march,’ charges were pressed under Article 212 of Russia’s Criminal Code (calls for mass riots) and Article 318 (the use of violence against a representative of the authorities). In total, around 30 people were involved in the so-called Bolotnaya square case. In relation to some of them, including Akimenkov, criminal cases were dropped by way of amnesty announced on the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution.