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Associated Press
Defendants stand behind bars in a cage at a court room in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, where hearings started against opposition activists detained on May 6, 2012 during a rally at Bolotnaya Square. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Dozens detained outside Moscow court

Associated Press
A defendant stands behind bars in a cage at a court room in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, where hearings started against opposition activists detained on May 6, 2012 during a rally at Bolotnaya Square. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Associated Press
Member of the Pussy Riot punk group, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, center, stands in front of police line outside Zamoskvoretsky District Court in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, where hearings started against opposition activists detained on May 6, 2012 during the rally at Bolotnaya Square. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

– Moscow police have detained dozens of people outside a courthouse where eight anti-government protesters are to be sentenced for their role in a 2012 protest against Vladimir Putin.

The defendants were found guilty last week on a range of charges following a trial seen as part of the Kremlin's efforts to stifle dissent. Some have been in jail for nearly two years.

Ahead of Monday's sentencing, hundreds of their supporters gathered outside the courthouse. Police detained 65 people who they said had blocked the road or tried to break through police lines.

The May 6, 2012, protest on the eve of Putin's inauguration for a third presidential term turned violent after police restricted access to Bolotnaya Square, across the river from the Kremlin, where the protesters had planned to gather.

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