Russian rights activist assaulted: report

26th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

A rights activist was hospitalised after being assaulted in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, in an incident allegedly linked to a political corruption scandal, a Russian daily reported Tuesday.

Mikhail Vinyukov, head of the Movement for the Defence of Citizens' Rights and Interests, told opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta that a man attacked him outside his office.

"He took out a 50-centimetre-long hammer and hit me on the head," said Vinyukov, who suffered head injuries as a result.

The incident coincided with the release from jail of Vladimir Shirokikh, a high-ranking city hall official under investigation for corruption charges leveled by Vinyukov, the newspaper said.

The rights activist reportedly acquired a recording of a conversation between Shirokikh and a company executive on how to monopolise the tourism industry in Sochi, which hosts the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Separately, a Russian mafia boss was shot dead in Sochi Tuesday in what Russian media suggested was the latest in a series of shootings targeting members of organised crime jostling for a share of the Olympic construction windfall.

© 2010 AFP

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