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Tatar Activist Fined After Commemorating Fall Of Kazan

Marat Zhalaliyev

Marat Zhalaliyev

KAZAN, Russia -- A Tatar activist has been fined after being detained at an annual commemoration of the conquest of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service reports.

Marat Zhalaliyev was fined 1,000 rubles ($32) on October 18, three days after the October 15 event.

Some 200 Tatar nationalists from Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, and the Republic of Mary-El attended the commemoration marking the fall of the Kazan Khanate to the Russian tsar in 1552.

Zhalaliyev, who wore a NATO-style military helmet (see photo here) painted in the green, red, and white of Tatarstan's flag and with the words "F*** Russia," was the only one whom police detained.

Zhalaliyev told RFE/RL after his verdict was pronounced that he was not informed of the charges against him or why he had been fined, which he said was illegal.

He said he planned to appeal the verdict on the grounds that his rights to freedom of assembly and expression were violated.

Tatar nationalist groups have marked the fall of Kazan to Russian forces on October 15 every year since 1989.

Read more in Tatar here