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Russian Teen Says Police Threatened Her for 'Paid Protester' Confession

A teenage girl detained by police during Sunday's anti-corruption rallies has accused officers in the Russian city of Krasnodar of threatening her with criminal charges if she did not pose as a paid protester.

Seventeen-year-old Diana told Krasnodar's Yuga news site that she was pressured to sign a false confession admitting she'd been paid to attend the protest.

“I was told that there would be more serious consequences if I tried to resist,” Diana told the news site.

“I was offered two options: if I signed a document admitting that I was paid for participating in the rally, or if I said that I was a bystander who had been 'accidentally' picked up, I would be released,” she said. "Otherwise, they said I would be charged with participation in an unsanctioned rally and resisting the police.”

The teenager also said that the police had asked for her phone in order to delete all images from the protest.

“When I went to the rally, I did not think that the police would drag young women through the mud [like they did with me.] We didn't behave aggressively, we didn't insult anyone. For me, it was another reason to go to the rally next time."

Between 300 and 1,000 people attended the rally in Krasnodar, according the data from the Meduza news site. Roughly 100 people were detained.

The Kremlin has already accused opposition politician Alexei Navalny of paying children to attend anti-corruption rallies held throughout Russia on Sunday. Many of the rallies took place without authorities' permission.

"We cannot respect the kind of people who knowingly mislead minors — children, in fact — with the promise of some monetary award just to make them take part in an illegal rally,” Peskov said. “[These children] are risking their safety or even their lives.”

Navalny had previously promised to win compensation for arrested protesters from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). In a blog post on Wednesday, the politician announced that his project, the Russian Euro Court, would help demonstrators “file thousands of appeals” to gain a payout from the Russian government. 

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