Dozens detained in Moscow in rare migrant rights protest - human rights group

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Over 60 people were detained in Moscow on Friday during a rare protest against the deportation of Izzat Amon, a renowned defender of Tajik migrant workers' rights in the Russian capital, a human rights group said.

Amon was detained on March 25, deprived of Russian citizenship and deported to Tajikistan, the OVD-Info human rights group, which monitors the detention of political protesters and activists, said on Friday.

His supporters, many of them migrant workers, rallied on Friday outside the Tajikistan embassy in Moscow, OVD-Info wrote in a statement.

"So far, OVD-Info is aware of 61 detainees, who have been distributed across four different police stations," the organisation wrote, adding that its pro-bono lawyer was not being permitted entry to one of the police stations.

The head of a Moscow centre that provided legal and financial support to labour migrants in Russia, Amon is well-known in the large Tajik migrant community.

Millions of economic migrants, many from poor Central Asian republics whose economies rely on them sending home some of their salaries, work in Russia in the grey economy, where they can easily be exploited or cheated by employers.

Amon's organisation is known for providing support, including assisting those who became unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Frontline Defenders international campaign group.

In Tajikistan, Amon faces charges of fraud, OVD-Info said.

(Reporting by Tom Balmforth and Polina Ivanova; Writing by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Marguerita Choy)