Police detain Moscow forest activists
23 July 2010
Russian police on Friday detained two journalists and 15 protesters at a
suburban Moscow forest where they have been living to try to protect the
woods from destruction.
The activists and the journalists were taken to
the city of Khimki, where a court will decide if they should be arrested
or freed, Yaroslav Nikitenko, an activist for the Environmental Defense
of Moscow Region organization, said in a telephone interview.
Moscow Region police spokesman Alexei Nikitin was unable to provide a
precise number of those detained, citing the lack of records, but said "up
to 15 people" were taken to the precinct.
The forest in Khimki has
been the focus of controversy for years over plans to chop down much of
it for highway construction. Khimki lies on the increasingly jammed
route from Moscow to Sheremetyevo International Airport and St.
Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city.
A local newspaper editor
who reported extensively on the issue was severely beaten in 2008 and
left wheelchair-bound and brain-damaged....