The wife of the first person to be jailed under a law criminalising repeat protesters in Russia has told IBTimes UK she hopes he will be freed soon so they can go on their honeymoon after a court ruled that his case be re-examined.
Ildar Dadin, 34, is serving a two-and-a-half year sentence for violation of Russia's Article 212.1, a law introduced in 2014 which banned protests without official permission.
But on Friday (10 February) the country's constitutional court ruled that there were irregularities in the proceedings and ordered a review into his case. The court said the law can be upheld but could not be applied if the protests did not pose a threat.
His wife, Anastasia Zotova, married Dadin in a jailhouse wedding in February 2016. She said that she was still concerned other people could be jailed under the law as it had not been overturned but she hoped he would be freed soon.
"It is not a whole win, it is a half win but we are very happy that Ildar may soon be free. We haven't had an opportunity to have a honeymoon and his mother wants us to go to India because friends of Ildar are living there."
Dadin's case gained international attention especially after he disappeared from Russia's penal system on 2 December 2016 after he wrote a letter alleging torture in his prison.
A social media campaign #ГдеИльдарДадин (Where is Ildar Dadin?) demanding to know his whereabouts was launched before he resurfaced in January after being shifted to a prison in Siberia's Altai Republic.
The European Parliament and US Senator Marco Rubio have called for his release with activists saying there should be a Dadin list in the style of the "Magnitsky list" which targets Russian officials accused of violating human rights.
His lawyer Ksenia Kostromina told Rain TV that Dadin could not be released immediately as his case would require the quashing of his criminal prosecution, which would take at least six weeks. Then, the country's supreme court would review it.
"It can rule that the sentence was imposed in violation of the law or to send the case for retrial. In the meantime, Dadin will continue to serve his sentence," she said, although she pointed out that the law can stay in place as it does not contradict the constitution, although it would need to be revised.
In January, Dadin requested to be sent back to the prison where he had claimed he was tortured to help support other prisoners there he says are victims of similar abuse. His wife said that even if released, he would continue to try to highlight the torture faced by prisoners in Karelia.
"He wants to support prisoners in Karelia and I want to too. I don't know what we can do, maybe when Ildar is freed, we can think about that and live in Karelia and have a human rights organisations to help prisoners. But it can be dangerous for us, it is a big choice," Anastasia Zotova told IBTimes UK.