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European Court Orders Russia To Pay Compensation To Bolotnaya Protester

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that Russia violated the rights of a man who was jailed in connection with a protest on the eve of President Vladimir Putin’s inauguration to his current term.

In a decision issued on November 28, the ECHR found that Russian authorities violated Nikolai Kavkazsky’s rights during his detainment and prosecution over the protest on Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square on May 6, 2012.

The court ordered Russia to pay him 10,000 euros ($11,900).

The decision supported Kavkazsky’s claim that the authorities violated two articles of the European Convention on Human Rights — a ban on torture and the right to a fair trial in a reasonable period of time.

Kavkazsky was sent to pretrial detention in June 2012, a month after the protest, despite legally documented health problems. He was transferred to house arrest only after his health drastically deteriorated in jail.

Kavkazsky had sought 70,000 euros ($83,400) in compensation from the Russian government.

More than 400 people were detained after clashes erupted at the 2012 protest. Police and protesters blame one another for the violence.

The rally was one of a series of large opposition protests sparked mainly by anger over evidence of widespread fraud in the December 2011 parliamentary elections and dismay at Putin’s decision to return to the presidency after a four-year stint as prime minister.

More than 30 people were prosecuted in connection with the clashes, and more than 20 were sentenced to prison or served time in pretrial custody.