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Tatar Professor: Criticism Of President Led To Firing

Midkhat Farukshin

Midkhat Farukshin

KAZAN, Tatarstan -- A Tatar university professor says his contract was not extended due to his criticism of the republic's president, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service reports.

Midkhat Farukshin, 70, a political science professor at Kazan University and chair of the political science faculty since 1990, told RFE/RL that he has written a letter to Tatarstan's President Mintimer Shaimiyev calling on him to end the repression against him and allow him to return to his job.

Farukshin said university officials claimed standard age restrictions were the reason for the termination of his contract.

Farukshin added that he thinks the university's decision was made due to pressure from the presidential administration.

As a leading expert on political systems and federal relations, Farukshin defended Tatarstan's attempts to gain political autonomy from Moscow, but later took a critical view of Shaimiyev.

Farukshin published a number of critical analyses, including a book about political leadership in Tatarstan.

He also wrote an introduction to the 2006 book "Shaimiyev: The Last President Of Tatarstan," by Irek Murtazin, a former spokesman for Shaimiyev who was sentenced on November 27 to 21 months in prison for libeling his former boss and "instigating hatred and hostility" toward a social group.