A judge in Moscow has convicted eight anti-government protesters of rioting during a 2012 protest against Vladimir Putin. Sentencing was postponed until Monday, meaning it will be revealed after Sunday's close of the Sochi Winter Olympics. The case is seen as a "show trial" designed to make clear Putin will tolerate no dissent.

Outside the court building, several hundred people, including two freed members of the punk band Pussy Riot, rallied in support of the defendants. Police arrested about 50 people.

The 2012 protest on the eve of Putin's inauguration for a third term turned violent after police blocked access to a square where the protesters had planned to gather. Some demonstrators hurled bottles and stones at police, who struck protesters with clubs. Twenty-nine protesters faced criminal charges, but 11 were released as part of a December amnesty that was widely seen as an attempt by Putin to improve Russia's image before the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Defendants stand inside a holding cell during their hearing at a courthouse in Moscow
Defendants stand inside a holding cell during their hearing at a courthouse in MoscowReuters
A protester is detained outside the courthouse after eight people were convicted of rioting and assaulting police
A protester is detained outside the courthouse after eight people were convicted of rioting and assaulting policeReuters
Police detain a protester outside a courthouse in Moscow today after eight anti-government protesters were convicted of rioting
Police detain a protester outside a courthouse in Moscow today after eight anti-government protesters were convicted of riotingReuters
Anti-corruption blogger Alexey Navalny takes part in a protest outside the courthouse in Moscow today
Anti-corruption blogger Alexey Navalny takes part in a protest outside the courthouse in Moscow todayReuters
The
The "march of the million" opposition protest in Moscow on May 6, 2012Reuters
Russian riot police detain a protester during the
Russian riot police detain a protester during the "march of the million" opposition protest in Moscow on May 6, 2012Reuters
Riot police clash with protesters during the march of the million protest in Moscow on May 6, 2012
Riot police clash with protesters during the march of the million protest in Moscow on May 6, 2012Reuters
A Russian riot police officer raises his baton during scuffles with protesters on May 6, 2012
A Russian riot police officer raises his baton during scuffles with protesters on May 6, 2012Reuters
A protester is detained during the 2012 protest march in Moscow
A protester is detained during the 2012 protest march in MoscowReuters
Russian riot police detain a protester during the protest in Moscow on May 6, 2012
Russian riot police detain a protester during the protest in Moscow on May 6, 2012Reuters
Opposition leaders Boris Nemtsov, Sergei Udaltsov and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny speak together during the
Opposition leaders Boris Nemtsov, Sergei Udaltsov and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny speak together during the "march of the million" opposition protest in 2012Reuters