Russia: Sergei Mokhnatin pardoned. Many political prisoners remain behind bars


On Wednesday Sergei Mokhnatin who had been serving a 2.5 year sentence for hitting a police officer, was freed after a decree issued by outgoing President Medvedev.

Sergei Mokhnatin was convicted of hitting the police officer at an opposition rally in 2009.  He says that he was only walking past, but saw a woman being beaten by the police officer and came to her defence.

He was sentenced in June 2010 to 2.5 years imprisonment. On 20 April he was moved to a punishment unit for 6 months, basically to the end of his sentence probably because of complaints he made about ill-treatment.  He had written an application to be pardoned back in February.

Medvedev pardoned 13 people. However the list did not include 32 political prisoners whose names were submitted for pardon.  These included Mikhail Khodorkovsky

From reports by and the BBC

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