MOSCOW: Police in Russia’s Sochi yesterday briefly detained a prominent environmental activist critical of Olympic development in the city, accusing him of slandering a judge.
But the activist, Andrei Rudomakha, who coordinates the regional NGO Environmental Watch on North Caucasus (EWNC), dismissed the case as a pressure tactic by the authorities, the latest in a series of incidents targeting the group ahead of the Winter Games in the Black Sea resort next February. “It’s a form of pressure before the Olympics,” he told AFP in a Sochi police station. Rudomakha was released after about three hours, his NGO said.
The incident took place as sports officials presided over a high-profile “Sport and the Environment” conference organised by the International Olympic Committee and the UN Environmental Programme in the Olympic Park, a five-day event that went on with the glaring absence of Russia’s main environmental organisations. AFP