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Russian Activist Detained For Alleged Illegal Immigration Organization

Russian activist Oleg Melnikov

The founder of Russia's Against Slavery nongovernmental organization has been detained on suspicion of organizing illegal immigration.

Oleg Melnikov told the Mediazona news portal that he and another activist, as well as four migrant workers from former Soviet republics, were detained in the town of Krasnogorsk near Moscow, on February 22.

The migrant workers from Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan were temporarily living in a facility in Krasnogorsk that the activists had helped to turn into makeshift housing.

According to Melnikov, the four were living there while their papers were being taken care of by the activists.

The Russian Criminal Code stipulates punishment of up to five years in jail for facilitating illegal immigration.

Melnikov formerly headed another antislavery group called Alernativa, which made headlines in 2012 when it helped release 11 people from de facto slavery.

With reporting by