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Daghestani Blogger Sent To Pretrial Detention


MAKHACHKALA, Russia -- A blogger in Daghestan region has been placed in detention over an explosives-possession accusation that his family says is false.

A court in Makhachkala, the capital of the region in Russia's North Caucasus, ruled on January 5 that Murad Nurmagomedov must be held in pretrial detention for two months.

The ruling came after Nurmagomedov's video showing prominent Daghestani Muslims criticizing the practice of celebrating the New Year with a fir tree, a common practice in the Soviet Union and now Russia, went viral in late December.

Police officers dragged Nurmagomedov from a vehicle on December 31 and detained him on suspicion of possessing explosives and ammunition that investigators said they had found in his house.

Investigators told the court on January 5 that Nurmagomedov promotes "extremist ideas" and supports the Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus.

Nurmagomedov's wife says the explosives and ammunition were planted.

His lawyer, Ziyavudin Uvaisov, says his arrest might be connected with the video.

Uvaisov added that Nurmagomedov had not been formally charged.

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