Russia detains left-wing activists for up to 18 years despite the outcry
MOSCOW (Reuters) – A Russian court sentenced seven left-wing activists to 6 to 18 years in prison on Monday after being found guilty of terrorism. This decision was found guilty by the Kremlin's critics.
Men between the ages of 23 and 31, mostly from the provincial town of Penza, were accused of having planned attacks on the 2018 World Cup and presidential elections as part of an anarchist underground group called "the Network". Other charges related to drug trafficking and gun ownership.
They all contested the charges, and some said they were tortured in custody to make confessions. Dozens of her followers sang "shame" before the military court in Penza when it announced its verdict.
When asked about the case during a conference call, the Kremlin said that President Vladimir Putin was aware of the case, but it was not appropriate for him to intervene.
"The president has repeatedly investigated this situation and repeatedly ordered everything to be thoroughly checked to ensure that everything is in compliance with the law," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny described the sentences in a post on Twitter as "terrible".
"The testimony of these very young people about an imaginary terrorist organization was put down with torture. Every minister in the Russian government is ten times more criminal and a threat to society than these people," he said.
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