Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Activist Convicted Under ‘Repeat Protest’ Law Walks Free From Prison

Konstantin Kotov was the second person ever to be prosecuted under a law criminalizing "repeated" participation in unsanctioned rallies. Andrei Vasilyev / TASS

Russian activist Konstantin Kotov was released from prison Wednesday after serving 18 months for “multiple breaches” of Russia’s protest law.

Kotov, who was arrested during the summer 2019 Moscow election protests, was the second person ever to be prosecuted under the controversial law criminalizing "repeated" participation in unauthorized rallies. A Moscow court cut the 35-year-old computer programmer’s four-year jail sentence to 18 months this spring.

The OVD-Info police-monitoring website reported that Kotov walked free from a penal colony 100 kilometers east of Moscow in the dark early hours of Wednesday. 

Footage shared by activists showed Kotov being met by his wife Anna Pavlikova, who herself had received a suspended sentence in a separate high-profile extremism case.

In late November, he was denied parole to be released on Dec. 7 because prison officials said he “had not yet reformed,” OVD-Info said. It previously reported that prison administrators had subjected Kotov to reprimands and placed him in solitary confinement for minor infractions.

Kotov told MBKh Media he plans to continue his activism “as soon as he understands what’s happening in the country and comes to his senses.”

His defense team had demanded that his sentence be annulled and that he be immediately released.

President Vladimir Putin said last December that he would look at Kotov’s case and instructed federal prosecutors a month later to review his prison sentence.

Amnesty International had declared Kotov a prisoner of conscience.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more