- Associated Press - Sunday, February 23, 2014

SOCHI, Russia (AP) - Two Russian activists have been detained in Sochi several hours ahead of the Winter Olympics closing ceremony.

Their lawyer Alexander Popkov told The Associated Press on Sunday that environmentalist Olga Noskovets and civil rights activist David Khakim were picked up by the police in the Sochi district of Matsesta and taken away.

Popkov says he is trying to establish their whereabouts.

Rights groups have blamed local authorities for what they describe as a campaign of harassment and intimidation against activists and independent journalists in Sochi who have been critical of the preparation for the Winter Games.

Noskovets has been a prominent voice in exposing illegal waste dumps in Sochi. Khakim was recently detained and sentenced to 30 hours of community service for staging a one-man picket in Sochi.

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