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Daghestanis block federal motorway in support of detained lorry drivers

25 April 2017
Lorry drivers protest in Daghestan (Aida Mirmaksumova/ OC Media)

Residents of the Daghestani village of Kayakent blocked the federal motorway connecting Makhachkala with the city of Derbent on 24 April, demanding the release of two detained lorry drivers.


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On Monday evening, several dozen people blocked the Kavkaz federal motorway for several hours. Their main demand was the release of two lorry drivers from Kayakent, who had been participating in protests against the Platon road tax. Relatives of the detainees joined the blockade, which took place not far from the biggest lorry driver protests in Daghestan, in Manas.

Umar Garisov, a driver taking part in the protest in Manas, told OC Media that the two men were detained as they travelled to Makhachkala to obtain work permits.

‘The guys went to Makhachkala to get work permits and then they disappeared. We’ve had no contact with them since Friday evening [21 April]. We don’t know what happened to their cars either. In general, there is no news’, Garisov said.

Lorry drivers protest in Daghestan (Aida Mirmaksumova/ OC Media)

Another protester, who introduced himself as Rashid, told OC Media that around midnight, after protesters shut down the motorway, the men returned to their village.

‘Several hours after the motorway was blocked, the two men returned home and their relatives unblocked the road’, Rashid said.

Lorry drivers have been protesting across Russia against the Platon road tax for around a month. A major rally is taking place in Daghestan, where initially around 3,000 lorry drivers protested. Currently, there are around 300 vehicles stationed near the village of Manas, 30 km south of Makhachkala. Reports of detentions of protesters in Manas have emerged periodically, although all detainees have been released after having their documents checked by police.

[See also our infographic with a timeline of lorry drivers’ protest in Daghestan]

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