Moscow court demands correction of slave labor story

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A Moscow court order a top Russian independent weekly Thursday to issue a correction to a story in which it alleged that elite riot police had kidnapped migrant workers to use as slave labour.

The court decision also required The New Times reporters who worked on the story to each pay 4,330-ruble (140-dollar, 105-euro) fines to the Russian interior ministry.

The newspaper said it would appeal the decision while one of the security officials named in the piece pronounced himself satisfied with the verdict.

The opposition weekly printed a total of three articles about abuse of power in the interior ministry's OMON riot police based on testimony from former and current officers.

The OMON have long been perceived as the elite of Russia's police force and are known for breaking up opposition protests.

In the third piece, The New Times alleged that OMON police in the Moscow region regularly seized migrant workers and forced them to work on police construction projects without wages.

Workers were also forced to work on dachas belonging to police chiefs, the paper cited a retired security worker as saying.

© 2010 AFP

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