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Police detained more than 1,000 people in Moscow alone over anticorruption rallies across Russia organized by opposition leader Aleksei Navalny on March 26.

A court in Moscow has sentenced a man who took part in an antigovernment protest on March 26 to 2 1/2 years in a so-called colony settlement.

A court in Moscow has sentenced a man who took part in an antigovernment protest on March 26 to 2 1/2 years in a so-called colony settlement.

The Tver district court on July 20 found Stanislav Zimovets guilty of causing bodily harm to a law-enforcement officer and sentenced him the same day.

The March 26 rally, one of the largest protests in Russia in years, was not sanctioned by authorities.

Zimovets, who initially confessed to throwing a brick at a police officer, later pleaded not guilty, saying he was not aiming at the police officer, but threw the brick in an open space in order to warn police and stop law-enforcement forces from violently dispersing the protesters.

Zimovets is the third participant in the March 26 protests in Moscow, who was convicted.

He and four other people -- Yury Kuliy, Aleksandr Shpakov, Dmitry Krepkin, and Andrei Kosykh -- were arrested on suspicion of attacking the policeman at the rally.

In May, Kuliy and Shpakov were sentenced on the same charges to eight months and 18 months in a penal colony, respectively.

Police detained more than 1,000 people in Moscow alone over the anticorruption rallies across Russia organized by opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, the biggest demonstrations against President Vladimir Putin's government since a wave of protests in 2011-12.

Based on reporting by tvrain.ru and TASS


Russian-Israeli blogger Alexander Lapshin (center) was extradited from Azerbaijan from Minsk in February at Baku's request. (file photo)

A court in Azerbaijan has sentenced Russian-Israeli blogger Aleksandr Lapshin to three years in jail, after convicting him on a charge of violating the country's territorial integrity.

BAKU -- A court in Azerbaijan has sentenced Russian-Israeli blogger Aleksandr Lapshin to three years in jail, after convicting him on a charge of violating the country's territorial integrity.

On July 20, Lapshin was found guilty of illegally visiting Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh in 2011 and 2012 without Baku's permission, and calling for the recognition of the region's independence in two online statements.

He was sentenced the same day.

Lapshin pleaded not guilty, saying his visit to the breakaway region did not have any political motives and adding that he considers Nagorno-Karabakh to be Azerbaijani territory.

Lapshin, 40, who also has Ukrainian citizenship, writes a Russian-language travel blog. He was detained in Belarus in mid-December at Baku's request.

Despite Russia's objections, Belarusian authorities extradited Lapshin to Baku in February.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on July 20 when asked whether Lapshin might be extradited to Russia, saying it was "not the Kremlin's issue."

With reporting by TASS and Interfax

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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