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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Communist Says Police Blocking G8 Activists

A Communist deputy on Saturday accused law enforcement bodies of forcefully preventing activists from participating in an anti-globalization forum to be held parallel to next week's Group of Eight summit.

State Duma Deputy Oleg Smolin said activists heading from the regions to the Social Forum, which is to take place in St. Petersburg along with the G8 summit, have been taken off trains and forced to stay home.

"The event has been authorized by the authorities ... but in reality 'Operation Barrier' is being conducted in order to prevent participants from attending it," Smolin said on Ekho Moskvy radio.

The head of the presidential human rights council, Ella Pamfilova, also expressed concern over the claims, saying she would ask prosecutors to investigate.

Through such actions, law enforcers "themselves push young people out of the legal framework," Pamfilova said on Ekho Moskvy.

The organization Red Youth Vanguard, meanwhile, said two of its activists were detained Friday as they met to hand over a large number of leaflets with information about globalization and the summit. "They were detained this evening by the police in the center of town," said Maxim Malyshev, head of the group's local chapter. "They were set to give out the leaflets next week and to put them up around the city."

The leaflets explained where sanctioned meetings would be held and the nature of the summit, Malyshev said.

(AP, Reuters)