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Activist Detained After Urging Tatarstan's Independence

Fauzia Bayramova

Fauzia Bayramova

An investigation has been launched against a prominent Tatar activist in the city of Chally, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service reports.

Fauzia Bayramova -- the leader of the self-proclaimed Milli Mejilis, a pan-Tatar parliament -- was brought to police on her arrival from Turkey on May 20.

She told RFE/RL that police asked her to sign a written pledge not to leave the city.

Earlier this year, Russian federal officials accused Milli Mejilis activists of igniting interethnic hatred after they appealed for international recognition for an independent Tatarstan.

Bayramova told RFE/RL that "since Russia recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, Tatarstan has a legitimate right to follow the same path."

She attended a panel discussion in Ankara last week on the state of democracy in Tatarstan and Bashkortostan.

Participants at the discussion harshly criticized Russian authorities for violating Tatars' political and cultural rights.

Bayramova says it is possible that new accusations will soon be filed against her.

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