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Tatar-Bashkir Report: April 29, 2005

29 April 2005
National Bolsheviks Storm Bashkortostan Representative's Office In Moscow
A group of National Bolshevik Party activists held a protest on 28 April against Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov inside the building for Bashkortostan's representative to Moscow, Ekho Moskvy and "Kommersant-Daily" reported on 28 April and 29 April, respectively. Protestors got into the building's balcony by posing as construction workers, and then hung a sign saying "Rakhimov is a thief and executioner!" as they shouted "Russia without Putin," "Bashkortostan without Rakhimov," and threw leaflets calling for the ouster of Rakhimov whose governance, they said, "is compared by the international press with the dictatorial regimes of [Saparmurat] Niyazov in Turkmenistan and [Islam] Karimov in Uzbekistan." Work in the representative's office was halted during the action. After about an hour the protesters were detained by police and delivered to the Basmannyi Interior Department. They were kept there the entire day and released after each paid a 500 ruble ($18) fine for violating the rules of holding protests.

Court Invalidates Shareholder Meetings Of Petrochemical Companies
The Bashkir Arbitration Court issued a ruling on 28 April that annuls the decisions made at the annual shareholders' meetings of seven petrochemical companies united under Bashkirskii Kapital holding, including Bashneft, Novoil, the Ufa Oil Refinery, Ufaneftekhim, Bashkirnefteprodukt, Ufaorgsintez, and Bashkirenergo, RosBalt reported on 28 April. The meetings held on 26 April were sabotaged by representatives of the Bashkir government and representatives of Bashkirskii Kapital, which is controlled by President Rakhimov's son, Ural, were mostly elected to the directors' boards. "Kommersant-Daily" on 29 April cited an unidentified source in the Bashkir government saying that Russia's Unified Energy Systems is trying to maintain neutrality in the conflict between President Rakhimov and Ural, who is the chairman of the Bashkirenergo board of directors. According to the ruling, the seven companies' general directors are prohibited from making decisions at the shareholders' meetings if they concern the distribution of profits, the payment of dividends, or the election of directors' boards. Bashkir presidential spokesman Rostislav Morzagulov said the court decision will return the companies' shares to the state and is being held "in a systematic, consistent way" that will be finished within two months.

Hizb Ut-Tahrir Members On Trial
A hearing against alleged Hizb ut-Tahrir followers has begun in Bashkortostan's Supreme Court, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 28 April. Nine residents of Bashkortostan, including two people of Slavic origin who converted to Islam, are alleged to have established an organized criminal group and of hoarding illegal arms. Hizb ut-Tahrir was barred in Russia in 2003 and declared an extremist organization.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova