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Daghestan Rights Activists Say Authorities Trying To Discredit Them

MAKHACHKALA -- Human rights activists in Daghestan are complaining about what they say are attempts by the authorities to discredit them, RFE/RL's North Caucasus Service reports.

Gulnara Rustamova, a member of the nongovernmental organization Mothers of Daghestan for Human Rights, says that her sister's arrest on January 11 was motivated by a desire to damage the NGO's reputation.

Dinara Butdaeva was detained on a bus and accused of supporting religious extremists operating in the republic.

Police reports say she was carrying weapons, several SIM cards for mobile phones, and religious literature.

Butdaeva's lawyer, Ziavutdin Uvaisov, says police planted the weapons in his client's luggage.