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ECHR Demands Russia Pay $40,000 to Arrested Protesters

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg has ordered Russia to pay 35,000 Euros ($40,000) to jailed protesters, news website Meduza reported Tuesday.

Activists Marina Novikova, Yury Manstev, Viktor Savchenko, Alexander Kirpichev and Valeriy Pomakhin, were all detained by police whilst picketing between 2006 to 2012.

The court ruled for Savchenko to receive 6,000 euros in compensation, with the remaining five protesters each receiving 7,500 euros. The court itself will also cover expenses for Kirpichev and Romakhin to a total sum of 6,000 euros.

The ECHR said that their decision reflected the excessive prison sentences given to the activists. Their imprisonment was a “violation of their right to freedom of expression,” and the pickets were was of no real danger to public order or a real disruption of the peace, the court ruled.

Russia can still refuse to pay compensation under a law passed in December 2015 giving precedent to constitutional law over international rulings. It stipulates that the government does not need to follow ECHR mandates if the Kremlin deems the ruling against the Russian constitution.

Russia has already refused to adhere to ECHR rulings on one occasion this month. A ruling demanding that Russia give inmates the right to vote was rejected after being deemed in contradiction to the Russian Constitution.

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