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Moscow Seeks to Jail Lawmaker Under ‘Multiple Protest’ Law

Opposition municipal deputy Yulia Galyamina has called the criminal case against her politically motivated. Sergei Bobylev / TASS

Moscow prosecutors have requested a three-year jail sentence for opposition municipal deputy Yulia Galyamina for multiple violations of Russian protest law, Galyamina said Friday.

Galyamina was arrested alongside 140 others this summer for rallying against a package of constitutional amendments which among other changes pave the way for President Vladimir Putin to stay in power until 2036. Six months earlier, courts had fined Galyamina for taking part in the summer 2019 street protests over local elections.

Galyamina, who tweeted about the state prosecution’s request to jail her, has called the criminal case against her politically motivated.

Moscow’s Tverskoy Court confirmed the requested prison sentence of three years for Galyamina to Interfax. 

Russians found guilty of taking part in unauthorized rallies, pickets or marches several times within a six-month period face up to five years in prison. 

Three people, including an opposition activist who was released this week after 18 months in jail, have previously been convicted under the controversial law that Putin signed in 2014.

Another law that Putin signed in May 2020 bans people convicted for multiple protests and other violations from running for office in Russia.

Galyamina’s criminal case nears completion as federal lawmakers race to pass legislation curbing protests and expanding the “foreign agent” label in what observers call an effort to restrain Russia’s opposition ahead of the 2021 legislative elections.

Putin previously hiked fines for protesting at unsanctioned rallies in 2012 and made demonstrating without permission from the authorities a criminal offense in 2014 after widespread protests against his return to the presidency.

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