Russia's jailed liberal leader appeals to Europe court

10th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

One of Russia's most prominent opposition leaders has filed an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights over his arrest and imprisonment by the Moscow police, his lawyer said Monday.

Former first deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov was detained during a sanctioned New Year's Eve opposition rally and later convicted of disobeying police orders.

Nemtsov appealed the 15-day sentence to a Moscow court last week but never received a formal hearing.

"Today we filed an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights," Nemtsov's attorney Olga Mikhailova told Moscow Echo radio.

"His appeal (with the Moscow courts) has still not been reviewed, even though the law only gave them three days to do so," Mikhailova said.

While Nemtsov has been detained on numerous occasions, this marks the first time that the liberal opposition leader has been sentenced to jail by a Moscow court.

Three other opposition leaders, Eduard Limonov, Konstantin Kosyakin and Ilya Yashin, were also jailed for between five and 10 days for similar reasons after calling for the respect of an article in the constitution which guarantees freedom of assembly.

The arrests and imprisonments have been condemned by Western rights groups, with US Republican Senator John McCain and Independent Senator Joe Lieberman calling the cases "shameful and outrageous".

© 2011 AFP

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