Russia ordered to compensate chess grandmaster (and Putin critic) Garry Kasparov over protest arrest

Police held him before 'March of Dissenters' protest in Moscow in 2007


The European Court of Human Rights has ordered the Russian government to compensate chess grandmaster and Putin critic Garry Kasparov 10,000 euros (£8,500) for his arrest at a 2007 protest.

Police arrested and fined Kasparov and two other men before an authorised "March of Dissenters" protest in Moscow on 14 April, 2007, violating their right to peacefully assemble and their right to a fair and public hearing, the court ruled. It awarded lesser amounts to five other men who were also arrested during the protest.

On Twitter, Kasparov, called the decision a "strong and clear precedent against Putin's system of repression in the courts" and said it "opens the doors" for other cases involving the arrest of peaceful protestors.

The former world chess champion also promised that he would donate the 10,000 euros to the 25 people arrested at a protest against president Vladimir Putin's reelection on Bolotnaya Square last year.

The Russian government has been criticised for politically motivated prosecution of opposition figures like anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny. On Thursday, Amnesty International recognised three of the Bolotnaya defendants as prisoners of conscience.

Russia reportedly accounts for more than 20 percent of the case applications pending before the European Court of Human Rights.

Kasparov announced his self-imposed exile from Russia in June, saying he feared politically motivated prosecution. Last year he was accused of biting a police officer's finger at a protest in support of jailed punk rockers Pussy Riot, but no case was opened.

Kasparov has continued to criticise the Russian authorities, calling the Putin regime as "Hitleresque" in a June interview with Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty. In another interview, he called on Coca-Cola to put rainbow flags on its cans at the Sochi Olympics to protest Russia's law outlawing gay propaganda.

In a controversial recent blog post, Kasparov blasted Russian protest leaders for participating in elections and Putin's Valdai Forum. "The fig leaf of conversations about creating a constructive dialogue between the regime and the opposition covers up a willingness to accept Putin's lifetime rule," Kasparov wrote.

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