On the eve of Vladimir Putin's inauguration ceremony, thousands gathered to march on Moscow's Bolotnaya Square in protest of his reelection. Although Russian authorities sanctioned the march, violence broke out and police used excessive force while detaining between 400 and 650 protesters at random.
At least three of the people facing charges in connection with the protests are prisoners of conscience and should be released immediately and unconditionally. Vladimir Akimenkov, Artiom Saviolov and Mikhail Kosenko are all standing trial despite thinly substantiated charges. Mikhail Kosenko has been sent for forcible psychiatric treatment although he is not a danger to himself or society.