US registers concern over jailing of Russian activist

27th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

The United States said Thursday it was "concerned" and "disappointed" that a Russian court sentenced a human rights activist to three days in prison for taking part in a peaceful protest.

Lev Ponomarev, a leading Kremlin critic and human rights campaigner, was sentenced on Wednesday for disobeying a police order after taking part in an unauthorized march in central Moscow.

"The United States is concerned about the sentencing of 68-year-old human rights activist Lev Ponomarev to three days of administrative arrest after a peaceful march in Moscow," a spokesman for the White House's National Security Council said.

"This sentence infringes on freedoms of expression and assembly that are enshrined in the Russian Constitution and we are disappointed that some Russian authorities continue to deny Russians citizens their constitutional rights," spokesman Mike Hammer said.

Another protester, Mikhail Shneyder of the opposition Solidarity movement, was also sentenced to three days in prison Thursday for insubordination toward a police officer after taking part in the same Moscow march as Ponomarev.

© 2010 AFP

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