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Authorities pursue probe over detained protesters left to sleep in buses

According to the senior official, the incident occured since the detention center was swamped

MOSCOW, February 2./TASS/. The Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights has demanded a probe into a recent incident, where activists who were taken into custody following Sunday’s unsanctioned Moscow rallies had to spend the night in buses.

"According to the information I have available, people were brought there [to a special detention center for foreign nationals in the village of Sakharovo - TASS] in three buses and they had to spend the night in these buses since the detention center was not ready to accommodate them," Valery Fadeyev, who heads the human rights council, told a news conference at TASS on Tuesday.

"As far as I know, these people have now been accommodated, they are warm and have beds and meals. They had to do without meals for a long time," he said, promising that the council would order internal checks.

Fadeyev specified that he was referring to activists detained during the unauthorized rally on Sunday. "We are looking into this," he insisted. "At first, the activists detained at the rallies were accommodated at centers in Moscow, and then they were taken to court. The court imposed some penalties on them. Since there were no places available in Moscow, they were sent to a special temporary accommodation center for foreign nationals in the village of Sakharovo," Fadeyev explained.

He said the detention center was not ready to receive "so many people, and a real organizational breakdown transpired." "I hope that the internal review will be objective and that we will get to the bottom of this. I hope that we won’t see such episodes in the future, because this is wrong. Yes, people have been punished, but there are certain regulations which must be strictly abided by," the head of the council stressed.

According to the Moscow police, the unauthorized rally that took place in Moscow on January 31 drew roughly 2,000 people. The Moscow Public Monitoring Commission said that some 150 people had been detained.