H/T Magic Martin
By Sergey Chernov
The St. Petersburg Times
Published: February 13, 2013 (Issue # 1746)
Human rights organizations in Russia, Tajikistan and Georgia on Tuesday protested mass arrests and reported harassment and beatings of mostly Central Asian and North Caucasus migrant workers during Friday’s raid on a marketplace in central St. Petersburg.
They are demanding a thorough investigation by Russian and Tajik authorities into the actions of law-enforcement officers who raided Apraksin Dvor, the marketplace in downtown St. Petersburg, during a service at a mosque on the market’s territory.
The Investigative Committee put the number of those detained at 271, but Fontanka.ru reported that “no less than 700” had been arrested, while human rights activists say that the number of arrests could be as high as 1,000.
Officially, the raid was part of a criminal investigation into “public incitement to terrorist activities or public justification of terrorism” and “inciting hatred or hostility as well as humiliation of human dignity” and was conducted jointly by several law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Security Service (FSB) and counter-extremism Center E. Smaller raids were held elsewhere in the city.