Police arrested protesters gathered outside a Moscow courthouse where defendants in the Bolotnaya Square trial were sentenced on Monday.
Officers detained supporters who rallied in support of the eight defendants, who took part in a demonstration ahead of President Vladimir Putin’s inauguration on May 6, 2012 and were found guilty last week.
Although the demonstration was largely peaceful, authorities described the event as “mass riots,” which allowed them to bring heavier charges against the accused, rights groups said.
Seven of the defendants were handed down sentences on Monday, ranging from two to four years. An eighth protester, the only woman, received a suspended sentence.
The video below shows police officers in helmets dragging supporters of the Bolotnaya protesters away as a crowd chants its support for the defendants.
Police arrested protesters who gathered outside a Moscow court house
The US State Department condemned the trial of the protesters as “politically motivated” and signaling of “serious concerns about due process and rule of law in Russia.”
Amnesty International called the trial a “show” and Friday’s sentencing a “hideous injustice.” Throughout the trial nearly 200 of the supporters and journalists gathered around the Moscow court were reportedly detained by police.