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A Russian court sentenced a protester to a year in a penal colony Thursday for hitting a police officer during an anti-government demonstration in March 2017.
Dmitry Borisov was accused of kicking the officer twice in the head during protests called by the anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny that saw tens of thousands of people take to the streets across Russia.
The protester pleaded not guilty, according to news agency RIA Novosti, which reported the Moscow court’s verdict.
Six other participants in the demonstration have already been sentenced to between eight months and three years in penal colonies for “violence” against law enforcement.
Like Borisov, they have been included on the list of political prisoners published every year by Memorial, Russia’s biggest human rights group.
Several hundred others were convicted for taking part in the “unauthorised” March 26 protests, with punishments ranging from a fine to several days in detention.
Other demonstrations organised by Navalny have followed, most recently on January 28 when he called for Russians to boycott the presidential election on March 18, which he denounces as a sham.
Navalny has been barred from challenging President Vladimir Putin in the election because of a criminal conviction that supporters say is politically motivated.
The opposition leader was himself briefly detained in Moscow on Thursday, he said on Twitter.
Navalny and supporters of his campaign have been endlessly harassed by authorities, including campaign chief Leonid Volkov, who was separately arrested in Moscow on Thursday for reasons that were not immediately clear.Source: AFP