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Rights Group Says Russian Environmentalist Rearrested


Igor Kharchenko was arrested again under the pretext that his car had been "involved in a crime," shortly after three masked men had smashed in the front and back windows of the vehicle.
Human rights group Amnesty International says a Russian environmental activist has been rearrested in the Krasnodar region where the Sochi Winter Olympics are due to open.

Amnesty said Igor Kharchenko of the Russian NGO Environmental Watch for the North Caucasus is currently being held by police in Krasnodar, the regional capital.

Kharchenko and five of his colleagues were briefly detained late on February 3.

He was arrested again on February 4 under the pretext that his car had been "involved in a crime," shortly after three masked men had smashed in the front and back windows of the vehicle.

The activists subsequently scrapped plans for a Sochi launch of a report exposing environmental damage caused by the construction ahead of the Games, which open on February 7.

Amnesty said the incidents "are more evidence of growing efforts to clamp down on civil society ahead of the Games."
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