MOSCOW, January 18 (RAPSI, Lyudmila Klenko) – The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has accepted for consideration a complaint filed by Maxim Panfilov, a defendant in the Bolotnaya Square riot case, over his arrest and detention, RAPSI reports on Wednesday from Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky District Court.

Defense motioned during the hearing to enter a copy of the Strasbourg court’s notice of the application’s acceptance into the case file.

Panfilov stands charged with participation in mass riots and use of violence against a law enforcement officer. According to investigators, the accused snatched a helmet off a riot policeman’s head on May 6, 2012. He was put in detention in April 2016.

The ECHR have already considered applications by other Bolotnaya Square riots case defendants. In 2015, the Court ordered Russia to pay a total of 7,000 euros to Artem Savelov, Leonid Kovyazin, and Ilya Gushchin, three opposition activists who complained of their detention over mass protests in 2012 in central Moscow. That was the first ECHR ruling in the Bolotnaya Square riots case.  In 2016, the Russian Supreme Court ruled arrest and detention of Gushchin and Savelov illegal upon the decision of the European Court of Human Rights.

The march on Yakimanka Street and the rally on Bolotnaya Square in May 2012, both authorized by the officials, resulted in mass riots and clashes with the police. Dozens of people were injured, over 400 protesters were detained.

The riot organizers, Sergey Udaltsov and Leonid Razvozzhayev, were sentenced to 4.5 years in prison. Other participants received prison terms from suspended sentences to four years. Several defendants were pardoned; one is undergoing compulsory mental treatment.

The convicts’ supporters believe that the riots were provoked by police.