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article imageRussian dissident Dadin detained at first protest after release from jail

By AFP     Mar 10, 2017 in World

Russian anti-Kremlin activist Ildar Dadin, who was jailed for peaceful protests in a legal precedent, was briefly detained Friday at his first demonstration since his surprise release last month, local media reported.

Dadin became one of the best known faces of the protest movement against President Vladimir Putin after he was imprisoned under a draconian new law on protests and said he was tortured in jail.

He was released late February after a high court quashed his sentence in a surprise decision and has vowed to continue protests.

On Friday, police detained Dadin as he held up a placard calling for the firing of prison officials outside the justice ministry in central Moscow, his wife Anastasia Zotova told AFP.

She said police detained Dadin and took him to a police station after asking him to show his passport, which he had left at home.

"Dadin was allowed to leave the police station. No charge was made against him," his lawyer Ksenia Kostromina told RIA Novosti state news agency.

A Moscow police spokesman said he had no information on Dadin's detention.

Dadin is the first and so far only person in Russia to be jailed for contravening a tough law clamping down on protests in the country.

He was sentenced in 2015 over repeated peaceful demonstrations against Putin's rule, prompting Amnesty International to declare him a prisoner of conscience.

On Friday, Dadin held a placard calling for the sacking of officials including the governor of the penal colony in the northwestern Karelia region where he said he suffered torture and abuse.

Dadin was holding alternate solo pickets with Lev Ponomaryov, another prominent rights activist. Solo pickets are legal under Russian law.

Dadin said he was repeatedly beaten and tortured in prison. He said he was hung up by shackled wrists, blindfolded and had his head shoved down a toilet by prison guards.

Russian media published his claims after they were smuggled out by a lawyer, causing a major scandal.

Prison authorities denied the allegations but the Kremlin said Putin would be informed.

In January, Putin ordered a review of the prison service's work, although it was not explicitly linked to Dadin's case.

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