Youth activist beaten outside courthouse

A Moscow court handed sentences today on four activists arrested earlier for taking part in a demonstration protesting the illegal military draft of Oleg Kozlovsky, Moscow coordinator of the opposition youth movement, Oborona.

The four being tried were Sergey Konstantinov from Kaliningrad, Yekaterina Kushner from Barnaul, Dmitry Konstantinov from Surgut, and Alexey Ignatenko from Cheboksary. They were accused of non-compliance with police demands.

The judge sentenced Sergey Konstantinov to 15 days of administrative arrest. Eyewitnesses said Konstantinov gave the finger to the judge, after which he was dragged out of the courthouse into a waiting police van where he was beaten up severely.

Four activists present at the court session were arrested and carried away by the hands and feet after they refused to leave without the judge ordering the session to be a closed one. One of the four arrested, Valentina Chubarova, is the daughter of the TV and radio journalist, Viktor Shenderovich.

Sergey Konstantinov was taken by ambulance to hospital. Of the three other accused, Yekaterina Kushner received a fine of RUR 2,000, while Dmitry Konstantinov and Alexey Ignatenko were sentenced to fines and 10 days of administrative arrest. They will spend their New Year’s Eve under arrest.

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