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OVD-Info reports almost 3,500 Russians subject to politically motivated prosecutions in the last 10 years

Nearly 3,500 people have become political prisoners in Russia since 2012, according to data on politically motivated criminal prosecutions published by human rights and legal aid group OVD-Info. Most of these political prisoners have already been released, with 1,011 people remaining behind bars.

As of November 16, the database lists 3,425 people as “individuals subjected to politically motivated criminal prosecution by [the] Russian authorities.”

Most of those convicted are between the ages of 30 and 50 (1,667), and most are men. The youngest prisoner in the database was 14 years old, while the oldest was 88 at the time of his death. The highest number of political prisoners — 704 people — was recorded in 2022 during mass protests against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In 2023, OVD-Info’s data shows almost as many prisoners as in 2021 — 441 vs. 467 in 2021. In 2021, there were mass protests, leading to nearly 200 people becoming subjects of criminal cases. 2023 saw no mass protests, but citizens have been prosecuted over anti-war statements and speeches, according to OVD-Info.

The database lists 1445 prosecutions for freedom of association, 1361 for freedom of conscience, 1161 for freedom of expression and 540 for freedom of assembly.

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