Police to Investigate Beating of Pregnant Protester

The Investigative Committee opened a criminal case Friday against a police officer after a video surfaced showing him kicking a reportedly pregnant female protester in Sunday's March of a Million protest event.

The investigation was started after a video of the incident appeared on Youtube on Thursday, the Investigative Committee said in a statement on its website. The video shows the policeman kicking a woman, who is being dragged along the ground by other officers, in the stomach.

Investigative committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said that the case has been opened under legal codes for "abuse of power using violence," which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Communist Party member and State Duma deputy Sergeri Obukhov told Interfax that the victim was pregnant.

The video was initially reported to the police for investigation by State Duma deputies from the Communist Party, the BBC said.

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