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Court Issues Arrest Warrant for Bolotnoye Case Suspect

A Moscow court Monday issued an arrest warrant for Bolotnoye case suspect Anastasia Rybachenko, who fled Russia in the summer of 2012.

Basmanny District Court filed a request to put her on an international wanted list, a representative of the court told the RAPSI news agency. That request needs to be authorized by Interpol to take effect.

The Bolotnoye case involves 28 suspects in the investigation into purported "riots" at an opposition rally on Bolotnaya Ploshchad in May 2012. Three of the accused have already been convicted on various charges.

The opposition believes the case to be politically motivated retaliation by the Kremlin against the protest movement and argues that no actual riots took place, saying clashes with police at the rally were provoked by authorities.

"Article 3 of Interpol's constitution prohibits using it as a tool in the international hunt for the political opposition," Rybachenko wrote Monday on Facebook in response to the court ruling. "Let's see to what extent European democracy is better than the Russian one."

Rybachenko, an activist with the liberal Solidarity movement, was put on a national wanted list and charged with participating in the supposed "riots" in 2012. A court subsequently imposed travel restrictions on her.

She is accused of urging other protesters to disobey police officers' orders and attempting to break through a police cordon and hit police officers, according to a report compiled by investigators.

Rybachenko first lived in Germany after emigrating from Russia, then moved to Georgia and subsequently enrolled at an Estonian university and settled in Tallinn. She has repeatedly said she wants to come back to Russia.

Fellow Solidarity activist Ilya Yashin said in April that about 50 people afraid of potential prosecution in connection with the Bolotnoye case had already emigrated. One of them, Alexander Dolmatov, committed suicide at a Dutch deportation facility in January.

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