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Russia law banning foreigners from retail industry takes effect

[JURIST] A Russian law banning all foreigners from the country's retail industry took effect Sunday. The new law, passed by the Russian assembly last year, is expected to affect tens of thousands of workers from the former Soviet Republics. The complete ban follows an earlier phase out of foreign workers in the retail industry. Beginning January 15, foreigners could make up no more than 40 percent of a store's staff. Russian police began raiding stores in January and detaining any worker suspected of not being a Russian citizen.

The raids have been widely criticized by human rights and migrant organizations as only targeting non-white workers. The law was introduced last year after a period of increased unrest [BBC report] among migrants and citizens, including a fight in the northern town of Kondopoga between ethnic Chechens and locals which ended with two Russians dead. BBC News has more. RIA Novosti has local coverage.

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