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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 4, 2005

4 July 2005
Holy Icon To Return To Kazan
Kazan Mayor Kamil Iskhaqov said on 1 July that the Our Lady of Kazan icon will be delivered to Kazan on 21 July, the day of opening in the Kazan Kremlin of the Lady Day Cathedral after restoration, RIA-Novosti, Interfax and other news agencies reported the same day. The even will open the Days of Orthodox religion devoted to the 450th anniversary of the Kazan Eparchy Board. Iskhaqov said the icon that was previously kept in the Vatican and was passed to the Russian Orthodox Church by pope John Paul II in August 2004 will be brought to Kazan by Moscow Patriarch Aleksii II. Iskhaqov expressed his confidence that all conditions moved by Aleksii II for the return of the icon to Kazan will have been fulfilled. Specifically, a decision will have been passed to remove a tobacco factory from the territory of the Virgin monastery where the icon will be kept.

Suspects Of Profaning Graves Pass Psychological Examination
Speaking at a session of the Kazan People�s Deputies Council Kazan on 1 July, Interior Directorate Head Fayaz Shabaev said two suspects are under investigation on the case on defiling 26 Jewish graves at the Kazan Archa cemetery on 25 May, Regnum-VolgaInform reported on 1 July. One of them, a student of Kazan State Technical University, is kept in pretrial detention while the other, an unemployed having criminal record gave written undertaking not to leave the place. The people are convicted of violation of bodies of the dead and of burial places and if convicted, they can be sentenced to three years of imprisonment. Shabaev said the young men who belong to the youth punk group and were beaten by the group of skinheads painted swastikas on the graves and left a sign used by skinheads to direct investigators to a false track. Currently they are passing psychological examination. Shabaev said over 500 young people, according to the official data, are members of informal youth groups in Kazan but their real number exceeds that figure.

Prosecutor�s Office Concerns About Kazan�s Historical Monuments
Tatarstan�s Prosecutor Kafil Emirov said on 1 July that Kazan has lost over the past year 14 of its 68 historical monuments being under protection of the state, Regnum-VolgaInform reported the same day. The prosecutor said three such facts under criminal investigation by the Kazan Wakhitov Raion prosecutor�s office. Emirov added that many preserved objects of cultural heritage remain in an emergency state. The republic prosecutor�s office have big claims to the city authorities on illegal allotting lands under construction in the nature protection zone, he said.

Tatar Woman Nominated For Noble Prize 2005
Tatarstan�s Muslim Women Union Chairwoman and editor-in-chief of the �Moslime� newspaper Elmira Edietullina was nominated for the collective Noble Peace Prize within the framework of the Project 1,000 Women for the Noble Peace Prize 2005, an RFE/RL Moscow correspondent reported on 1 July. The world presentation of the project initiated in November 2003 by the Swiss committee headed by Europarliament and Swiss Parliament deputy Ruth-Gaby Vermot-Mangold was held on 29 June. The project aims nomination of 1,000 women from the entire world for the collective Noble Peace Prize in 2005 for their efforts on strengthening peace. Edietullina�s candidacy was proposed for her successful struggle for permission for Russia�s Muslim women to wear headscarves on their passport photographs.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Bashkir Prime Minister Faces Road** Accident
Bashkir Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov on 1 July was slightly injured in a road accident, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported the same day. Baidavletov was going by his business car with a driver to the Ufa airport to see off Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov. Baidavletov was hospitalized and passed medical examination. Bashkir State Traffic Safety Inspection officials told �Kommersant-Volga-Urals� on 2 July that the prime minister obtained only just slight bruises and grazes and �nothing threatens his life.� The daily quoted unidentified sources in the Bashkir government who categorically rejected versions about possible attempt on the prime minister under the pretext of the accident.

Prosecutors Disagree With Peaceful Solution To Trial Between Government, Bashkir Kapital
Bashkortostan�s Prosecutor�s Office has appealed the 10 June decision by the Bashkir Arbitration Court to stop the case on return to the state ownership shares of five Bashkortostan�s companies, including four oil refineries and Bashkirnefteprodukt, �Kommersant-Volga-Urals� reported on 2 July. Meanwhile, the Bashkir Arbitration Court on 1 July annulled its April ruling to freeze decisions of shareholders meetings of the four refineries, Bashneft and Bashkirnefteprodukt, in satisfaction of the appeal by the Bashkir Property Ministry to call back the lawsuit against the companies. The Ministry refused to sue the Bashkirskii Kapital, the company that controls the mentioned companies, after signing on 8 June an agreement between the Bashkir government and Bashkirskii Kapital.

Forum On Ethnic Extremism In Ufa
Russian Interior Ministry�s Public Relations Board Head Valerii Gribakin said on 1 July that disintegration of the USSR, crisis of the ideology and deterioration of social issues are behind escalation of interethnic tensions in Russia, RosBalt reported the same day. Gribakin was speaking at the conference on the role of law enforcement agencies and human rights organizations in fighting racism, xenophobia and other kinds of national and religious intolerance that opened in Ufa the same day. Gribakin said there are 400,000 unfavorable families in Russia in which 750,000 are educated. They most often become members of radical Nazi groups that total some 150 in Russia, Gribakin said. Bashkir Interior Minister Rafail Divaev told the same conference that a group of eight neo-fascists who call themselves �Soldiers of the Fourth Reich� was detained in Bashkortostan in May for assaulting foreign students. The Moscow Bureau for Human Rights that is the forum organizer reported that 50,000 skinheads operate now in Russia�s different regions, 100 radical outlets are published, seven publishing houses are specialized on printing neo-Nazi literature that has annual print run of 500,000. In 2004, 44 murders were committed in Russia on the ground of interethnic hatred. According to some surveys, over 40 percent of Russia�s population are infected with xenophobia while 5 percent are ready to take part in pogroms and deportation of foreigners.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova