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Jailed Russian Opposition Activists Start Hunger Strike

The activists say cottages were illegally built on the land controlled by Governor Aleksandr Tkachev.
TUAPSE/MOSCOW, Russia -- Four activists from Russia's opposition Yabloko party have begun a hunger strike in jail in the North Caucasus, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Yabloko party leader Sergei Mitrokhin told RFE/RL the activists were on hunger strike to protest the conditions they face in jail in the town of Tuapse, in Krasnodar Krai.

Mitrokhin said the jail cells were unlit, had poor sanitary facilities, and the inmates were not allowed to leave their cells. He said all detainees had a right to spend at least one hour per day outside on the grounds of the correction facility.

The activists were sentenced to 7-10 days in jail on February 28 after they were arrested for holding a protest in front of the residence of Governor Aleksandr Tkachev.

The demonstrators were protesting that the territory controlled by the governor has been deforested.

Supporters of the activists are holding public protests today in Tuapse, Krasnodar, and Moscow.

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