Andrey Danilov, a well-known Sami politician, was detained by the police at the Imandra Viking Fest in the Murmansk region

Today, August 29th, 2021 in the city of Monchegorsk (Murmansk region), during the Imandra Viking Fest organized by the Monchegorsk Development Agency with the support of “NorNickel” and the town administration, police officers detained Andrey Danilov, a well-known Saami politician and director of the Saami Heritage and Development Fund.

Andrei was requested to have his bag searched, which he, fearing for his safety, refused to permit to be searched without witnesses. As a result, the police officers forced Danilov out of the festival area and summoned a police squad to detain him. In order to ensure his safety, Andrey Danilov filmed the incident with his cell phone, to which police officers reacted negatively, warning him that he had no right to post this video to the Internet and could use it in a court only.

The police officers did not specify which court they were talking about. At the moment, Andrey Danilov is charged with a violation of Article 19.3 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation, “Disobedience to a lawful order of a police officer,” and was taken to the police station.

Last summer Andrey Danilov was one of the organizers of the international campaign “#AnswerUsElonMusk”, whose participants wrote a letter to Tesla CEO Elon Musk asking him not to buy products from Norilsk Nickel because the company violates the rights of indigenous peoples in the Taimyr and Murmansk regions.

This summer, Andrey Danilov appealed to the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation in connection with a violation of his right to traditional hunting, which he enjoys by virtue of being a member of the Saami people. The Constitutional Court sided with Andrei Danilov and issued a special ruling in which it obliged Russian federal authorities to “clarify the legal basis for implementing the right to hunt in pursuance of the traditional way of life and traditional economic activities of the indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia, and the Far East of Russia who do not permanently reside in areas of their traditional residence and traditional economic activities”.

The Indigenous Russia editorial board is in touch with the politician and will report on developments.