The European Parliament issued a resolution on Thursday calling for the immediate release of Russian activist Ildar Dadin, who is currently serving a sentence for repeated public protests and recently complained about being tortured while in prison.
"The parliament calls on the Russian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Dadin and all those who have been convicted on false or unfounded allegations or who exercised their rights to freedom of expression and assembly," a statement on the European Parliament's official website said.
The European Parliament also called for a thorough, transparent and independent investigation of Dadin's recent allegations that he was tortured.
"MEPs are seriously concerned about credible reports on human rights, which indicate that Dadin is not an isolated case and that the systematic use of torture, ill-treatment and inhumane treatment in the Russian penitentiary system goes unpunished," the statement said.
MEPs also addressed the need for "targeted sanctions" in order to "punish those responsible" for the violation of Dadin's rights and for a common policy toward Russia in the European Council.
Dadin became the first Russian to be convicted under Article 212.1 of the Criminal Code (repeated violation of the rules of public events). In December 2015 he was sentenced to three years in prison, but in March the court reduced the sentence to 2.5 years. In early November, Dadin wrote a letter in which he told of beatings and threats by the prison staff . The Federal Penitentiary Service initiated said that independent doctors found evidence of beatings, "as well as signs of previous injuries," on the body of the convict.