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Police Detain Activists, RFE/RL Correspondent In Russia's Tatarstan

ALABUGA, Russia -- Police in Russia's Republic of Tatarstan have detained activists of the Tatar Public Center (TIU) and an RFE/RL correspondent.

On October 21, police and Investigative Committee officers rushed into the premises in the city of Alabuga, where some 40 activists of the TIU's local branch were holding their gathering, and demanded identification documents from the activists.

Those who did not have internal passports, including RFE/RL correspondent Gafiulla Gazizov, who was at the site to cover the gathering, were forcibly taken to a police station.

Gazizov told RFE/RL by phone that police confiscated his video camera and broke his photo camera.

No explanation for the detainment was given, while the activists say the authorities' goal was to disrupt the gathering.

The TIU, with many branches across Tatarstan, is an NGO that campaigns to preserve Tatars' national identity, language, and culture.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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