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Circassian Leader Reportedly Detained Near Sochi

Asker Sokht (file photo)
Asker Sokht (file photo)
Activists say Russian police have detained a community leader of the Circassian ethnic group, which is native to the Sochi region and has protested Russia's holding of the Olympics on their ancestral land.

The Adyge Khase community group said on February 17 that leader Asker Sokht was detained on February 14 near the city of Maikop under unclear circumstances.

There has been no comment from local police in Maikop.

Adyge Khase activist Arandin Khotai said the arrest was unexpected because Sokht has good relations with local authorities and is viewed as a moderate.

Khotai said the Sochi Olympics were being held "as if we don't exist."

Sochi: Outside The Arena

Sochi 2014: Outside The Arena

The true cost of Russia's first Olympics in more than three decades, and the most expensive games ever, goes well beyond the hefty $51 billion price tag. Read RFE/RL's Special Report.

Circassian activists in cities around the world have protested against the Olympics, angry over a massacre of their ancestors in the 19th century.

Based on reporting by AP,, and