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Russia Justifies Police Violence Before European Court

A detained Dmitry Monakhov in a police van (Mikhail Pochuyev / TASS)

Russia is reportedly defending its police forces for allegedly beating an opposition activist four years ago in a case that has gone to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). 

Dmitry Monakhov, an activist with the opposition movement Solidarity, was beaten during an unauthorized rally in support of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in 2013. Moscow police said at the time that they would review Monakhov’s complaint about the widely documented beating.

The Kommersant business daily reported Friday that the ECHR had sent Russia’s Justice Ministry a letter inquiring about the case. 

“The complainant was not subjected to ill treatment,” the ministry said in a response to the ECHR carried by Kommersant. 

“The force applied was consistent with resistance [to arrest] and was necessary because it did not exceed the harm that the complainant could have caused himself or others had he not been stopped." 

Pavel Chikov, the head of the Agora rights group, pointed out that Moscow police officers never get punished for acts of violence. 

“It’s some kind of a coordinated policy in Moscow, not to initiate cases against police officers,” he told Kommersant.

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