Russia jails members of 'non-existent' terror group Set

Seven Russian anarchists and anti-fascist activists have been handed lengthy jail terms on terror charges.

A court in the city of Penza sentenced the men – said to be part of a group known as Set, meaning Network – to between six and 18 years in penal colonies.

Russian authorities say they were plotting to overthrow the government.

But rights groups and lawyers say the charges were fabricated, and the men were tortured into confessing.

Prominent opposition figure Alexei Navalny described the sentences as “horrific” in a tweet, and called the Set group a “fictitious terrorist organisation”.

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly said he was aware of the case and had ordered authorities “to make sure everything is in line with the law”, but would not intervene.

What happened in court?

The military court in Penza, a city 630 km (390 miles) southeast of Moscow, handed down the sentences on Monday.

All seven men – Dmitry Pchelintsev, Ilya Shakursky, Andrei Chernov, Maksim Ivankin, Mikhail Kulkov, Vasily Kuksov and Arman Sagynbaev – will be sent to penal colonies.

Pchelinstev received the longest sentence after being convicted of creating the Network. The 27-year-old was handed an 18-year term, while the other six will serve between six and 16 years and were convicted of a variety of other offences, including illegal possession of weapons.

Continue Reading This Article At BBC News

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