Russian opposition activist Sergei Udaltsov has begun a hunger strike in protest over the Moscow City Court's July 24 decision to sentence him to four years and a half in prison for organizing mass riots in Bolotnaya Square in the center of Moscow on May 6, 2012.
"Sergei Udaltsov has gone on an indefinite hunger strike in the remand center in protest over his illegal conviction," the opposition member's supporters said on their Twitter account.
It was reported earlier that the Moscow City Court found Udaltsov and Razvozzhayev guilty of organizing mass unrest on Bolotnaya Square in Moscow on May 6, 2012 and sentenced them to four and a half years in prison each.
Udaltsov and Razvozzhayev have been charged with the organization of mass unrest involving violence, pogroms, arson, and destruction of property and preparations for organizing such unrest. Razvozzhayev has also been charged with an illegal border crossing. According to the verdict, the two will service the sentence at the medium security penal colony.
Lawyers for the two opposition figures already said that they would appeal the verdict.
The court found that Udaltsov and Razvozzhayev, along with Konstantin Lebedev and Georgian citizen Givi Targamadze, incited mass unrest on Bolotnaya Square in Moscow on May 6, 2012 and planned similar incidents in Russia after that.
Lebedev, a Left Front activist, had earlier been sentenced to 2.5 years in prison on the same charges as those brought against Udaltsov and Razvozzhayev. Lebedev fully confessed to his wrongdoing, and his case was heard in a special procedure. Moscow's Lefortovo District Court granted Lebedev a parole on April 24, 2014, and he left the penitentiary on May 6.
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