Russian human rights organization Memorial has declared Russian protester Stanislav Zimovets a political prisoner.
Zimovets, a 32-year-old Chechen War veteran, was convicted of throwing a rock at a National Guard officer during an unsanctioned anti-corruption protest organized by opposition politician Alexei Navalny in central Moscow on March 26. He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison in July.
Zimovets was the fourth participant in the March 26 rally to be convicted. Memorial has named all four men political prisoners.
“The events of March 26 should be considered from the point of view of whether citizens were able to resist the illegal action of police, within the bounds of the law,” the organization said on its website. “The court hasn’t investigated whether law enforcement committed any illegal acts. It didn’t investigate to what extent it was illegal to resist this unlawful action.”
Memorial said it considered the persecution of participants of the protests on March 26 to be “politically motivated, targeted at intimidating critics of the authorities."