MOSCOW, May 24 - RAPSI. Four Russians who were travelling around Iraq on motorbikes have been detained by Iraqi authorities and accused of espionage, Alexander Orlov, a representative of the RAMCC motorcycle club and fellow club member of the detained, told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

According to Orlov, the Russian bikers, Oleg Kapkayev, Alexander Vardanyants, Oleg Maximov and Maxim Ignatyev, were detained on May 20.

"They had another 20 kilometers to go before reaching Bagdad. They were detained by individuals in military uniform, who did not introduce themselves. They were delivered to an Iraqi military base and their documents were taken away from them," Orlov said.

Orlov said he is in constant communication with the detained and the consular of the Russian embassy in Iraq.

"We got a short message from them at 3 am today: SOS, we are being beaten, accused of espionage and faking our visas and we are threatened with the death penalty", Orlov reported

"There is nothing wrong with their documents and visas. These are some of the most experienced motoring tourists in Russia, they have travelled all over the world. These visa faking claims - it's just nonsense," Orlov said.