World News

Jul 24, 2014 7:34 AM by Associated Press

Russian activists convicted of organizing riots

MOSCOW (AP) - Russian news agencies say two opposition activists have been convicted of organizing riots at the May 2012 protest in Moscow, a day before the re-election of President Vladimir Putin.

Sergei Udaltsov and Leonid Razvozzhayev were awaiting sentence Thursday in a Moscow court on charges of organizing mass riots and colluding to commit a crime. Both had pleaded not guilty in a trial that has dragged on since October 2012.

Since Putin's return to the presidency in 2012, when hundreds of thousands protested the vote in the streets of Moscow, the government has cracked down with a slew of laws restricting protests and curbing activity of non-governmental organizations.

Eleven other people have been convicted for participating in the same protest which ended in clashes with the police.

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