A court in southern Russia has sentenced five anti-lockdown protesters to at least five years in jail, the Kommersant business daily reported Monday.
Over 2,000 protesters gathered in Vladikavkaz, the capital of the North Caucasus republic of North Ossetia, on April 20, 2020, to demand an end to the regional self-isolation orders as well as emergency financial support to compensate for job losses and the regional government’s resignation.
At least 17 security officers were injured in the clashes that erupted when authorities tried to disperse the unauthorized protest.
Kommersant reported that a court in the city of Rostov-on-Don found five of the protesters guilty of taking part in mass riots.
Aslan Gasiyev and Zaza Tsaritov, who had pleaded guilty, were sentenced to five years in prison each. David Okruashvili and Artur Bugulov received five years and three months each. Magomed Kadyrov was sentenced to five and a half years behind bars.
The trial took place in the Rostov region some 700 kilometers north of North Ossetia at the prosecution’s request out of fears that the protesters would be able to pressure judges in their home region, according to Kommersant.
The Rostov-on-Don court is expected to hand out five more verdicts on Wednesday.