The Putin government goes after a left-wing group known as Set, which is Russian for “Network.”
A court in Penza has sentenced the seven members of Set to prison terms between six and 18 years, according to Mediazona. The activists’ supporters chanted “freedom to political prisoners” in the courtroom after the judge read out the guilty verdict, according to video shared by the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper. The defendants have the right to appeal the sentences, a judge was cited as saying. The jailed activists have accused security officers of torturing them into incriminating themselves.
Asked about the case on a conference call, the Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin was aware of the case, but that it would not be appropriate for him to intervene in it.
“The president has repeatedly looked into this situation and repeatedly ordered everything to be checked thoroughly to make sure everything is in line with the law,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.