Russia ordered to pay Jewish activist from Moscow


(JTA) — Russia must pay $35,000 to a Jewish activist from Moscow who was imprisoned for demonstrating against the government, the European Court of Human Rights ordered.

Tuesday’s ruling by the court in Strasbourg, France, relates to the 2012 arrest of Evgeny Frumkin, 53, an organizer of many rallies critical of the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Frumkin, a founder of Russia’s pro-democracy movement during the last days of communism, was arrested at a Moscow square during riots that erupted during a demonstration the day before Putin was inaugurated as president in May that year. He was sentenced to 15 days of administrative arrest for disobeying police orders.

But the European court, whose decisions are binding on 47 countries, including Russia, but rarely enforceable, found the arrest and imprisonment violated Frumkin’s right to personal integrity and the right to a fair trial, RIA Novosti reported, as well as the freedom of assembly.

Last month, Russian lawmakers passed legislation saying rulings by local courts supersede those of international tribunals. Critics say the move effectively means Russia has nullified its signature to the European Convention on Human Rights, the treaty that forms the basis for the European court’s jurisdiction in Russia.

The legislation follows frequent rulings by the court against Russia, which critics claim has become less democratic under Putin.

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