Olympic tension: Activists say ethnic leader held

SOCHI, Russia (AP) Activists say Russian police have detained a community leader of the Circassian ethnic group, which is native to the Sochi region and has protested Russia's holding of the Olympics on their ancestors' land.

The Adyge Khase community group said Monday that leader Asker Sokht was held Friday near the city of Maikop under unclear circumstances. Local police in Maikop would not comment.

Activist Arandin Khotai of the community group says the arrest was unexpected because Sokht had good relations with local authorities and is viewed as a moderate.

Khotai said the Sochi Olympics are being held ''as if we don't exist.''

Circassian activists in cities around the world have protested the Olympics, angry over a massacre of their ancestors by czarist troops in the 19th century.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.