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Tatar-Bashkir Report: May 26, 2005

26 May 2005
Shaimiev Backs Preservation Of Presidential Post In Tatarstan
Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev said the post of president is to be maintained in the republic, Interfax-Povolzhe reported on 25 May. In an interview with the news agency, Shaimiev said he considers it unacceptable to take the approach followed by deputies in North Ossetia's parliament who have abolished the presidential post. Shaimiev said "those erosive...processes that took place during the perestroika years in the republics of the North Caucasus...can in no way be...a model for Tatarstan."

TIU Leader Opposes Celebration Of Kulikovo Battle Anniversary
Tatar Public Center (TIU) Chairman Telget Bariev has said it is incorrect to celebrate the anniversary of the Kulikovo battle in today's Russia, Interfax-Povolzhe reported on 25 May. "Thus we, Tatars, are 'pushed out' from Russia. Russia recognizes Tatars just as stepsons and gives the national movement cause to fight for Tatarstan's independence," Bareev told the news agency. "The Kulikovo battle is based on a myth like many things in Russian history."

Jewish Graves Vandalized In Kazan
The Kazan Interior Ministry is searching for the vandals of 20 graves recently desecrated in the Jewish part of the Kazan Archa cemetery, RIA-Novosti reported on 25 May. The graves were destroyed or daubed with swastikas. The ministry said that the graves of people of "various nationalities" have been damaged. The Kazan City Council appealed on 25 May to religious and public organizations to look into the act of vandalism.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Prosecutors To Closely Monitor Police Brutality
Bashkir Prosecutor Aleksandr Konovalov said on 25 May that local prosecutors will look into reported cases of suspects beaten during police interrogations, Interfax-Povolzhe reported the same day. He added, however, that such cases are difficult to prove. At a meeting with residents in the republic's third-largest city Salawat, Konovalov said prosecutors will carry out more random checks on pretrial detention facilities during the night. He added that "prosecutors' supervision will be closer to the bodies under surveillance." Konovalov said there is a complex criminal situation in Salawat and this has an impact on the number of police brutality claims. Salawat has four correctional labor facilities and 40 percent of the population has previous convictions.

Tatar NGOs Plan Referendum On Tatar Language Status
Bashkortostan's Tatar civil-society organizations decided at a meeting on 25 May to hold a referendum on raising the status of Tatar in Bashkortostan, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported the same day. The union will appeal to Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov to provide premises to hold a conference on the issue to which Russian human-rights activists will be invited.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova