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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 27, 2005

27 July 2005
Kazan Residents Complain Of Harassment By Guest Police
The deployment of thousands of additional police to Kazan from across Russia is causing local residents new difficulties that may be due to cultural differences, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 26 July. One listener, Ruslan Aysin, told an RFE/RL Kazan correspondent that he was recently pulled over by a special forces patrol that claimed that a Tatar book found in his car was extremist Islamic literature, though none of the patrol's officers, two of whom were ethnic Russians while the other two were from a Caucasus republic, could read or speak Tatar. Aysin was reportedly threatened with arrest for religious extremism, but he was saved by the police car driver, who was originally from Kazan and told the officers that the book did not concern religious issues. Another listener had previously complained that he was stopped and questioned by Federal Security Service officers only for having a "Muslim-looking" beard.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Private, Commercial Housing On The Rise In Ufa
According to the Ufa city administration on 26 July, during the first six months of 2005 some 200,500 square meters of housing was built in the Bashkir capital, which is a 16 percent higher than the amount for the same period of 2004, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported the same day. The growth was achieved in commercial and individual housing, while the development of state-funded housing is reportedly declining.

Bashkortostan Preparing For Kazan Millennium
A 160-strong delegation of Tatar activists from Bashkortostan is heading to Kazan to take part in that city's millennium celebrations and hold the days of Bashkortostan's Tatars as a part of anniversary festivities, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 26 July.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi