Russian opposition figure freed; vows fight for human rights

AP News
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Posted: Feb 26, 2017 5:38 AM
Russian opposition figure freed; vows fight for human rights

MOSCOW (AP) — A convicted Russian opposition activist who says he was tortured in prison was freed Sunday and has vowed to keep up the fight for human rights in Russia.

Ildar Dadin was released from his jail in the remote Altai region in southern Siberia after Russia's Supreme Court annulled his 2½-year sentence last week because of procedural violations.

"I will continue to fight with this false regime so that human rights will be observed like in the civilized world. I don't understand how you can be a human one day and not the next," Dadin said on being released, Russia's Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported.

Dadin was convicted in December 2015 of breaking strict new legislations regulating public demonstrations. He is the only person to have been convicted under the legislation that was passed by Russia in 2014. Human rights groups described Dadin as a political prisoner who was only involved in nonviolent protests.

Dadin said last year that he was tortured by prison guards who carried out group beatings and threatened to rape and kill him. Russian officials denied that torture had occurred but Dadin was transferred to a new prison shortly after the allegations were made public.

Dadin's wife, Anastasia Zotova, suggested last week that the couple may have to move abroad out of fear of new prosecutions.