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Russian Police Seize Computers From Irkutsk Environment Group

Environmentalists are angry about a governmental decision to reopen a polluting paper bill near Lake Baikal.
Police in the Siberian city of Irkutsk today searched the offices of the nongovernmental organization Baikal's Ecological Wave, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Employees of the NGO told RFE/RL that police showed no search warrant before the search, but confiscated computers and other equipment from the organization. They added that some of the police officers involved in the search appeared to be intoxicated.

The NGO workers said they believe the search is directly connected to their recent protest against the controversial decision by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for a huge paper mill near Lake Baikal to resume operations.

The mill had been closed because of the pollution it emits, and Putin's decision to reopen it has upset environmentalists who say the paper mill seriously harms the unique flora and fauna of the lake.