MOSCOW – The police in Moscow and St. Petersburg arrested some 50 people who participated in unauthorized demonstrations against a criminal case against 10 young Russians for alleged involvement in an extremist group aimed at overthrowing the government.
Lawyers for the 10 suspects arrested in March said that the secret police had invented the case, wrote the radical program for the group and encouraged members to have shooting sessions.
Four of the defendants are imprisoned and the others are under house arrest.
The OVD-Info group, which monitors police actions and political repression, said at least 40 people had been arrested in St. Petersburg on Sunday and at least nine in Moscow.
This case has been widely criticized as a flagrant example of official abuse of Russian law on extremism.
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