15 October 2003
DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTANChally Prosecutor Said To Have No Links To Alleged Criminal Boss
Tatar Prosecutor Kafil Emirov told "Izvestia" on 15 October that a photograph featuring Chally Prosecutor Ildus Nefiqov in a bath house with alleged crime boss Eduard Tahirjanov is real, but was taken in 1995 or 1996. The photo appeared in the Chally-based "Chelny LTD" newspaper on 24 September. Nefiqov, then a prosecutor in the city of Tuben Kama, was invited to the bath house by a friend and Tahirjanov was introduced to him as a Moscow businessman, Emirov told the daily. He added that Nefiqov had no contacts with Tahirjanov after that time. Emirov said that there had been an attempt to bribe the prosecutor in connection with the investigation into the recent spate of kidnappings and murders, but when the attempt failed the picture was handed over to the newspaper.
Three members of an organized crime group, allegedly headed by Tahirjanov, have been arrested in Chally in connection with the 2001 kidnapping and murder of Moscow-based executive Oleg Kulikov. Prosecutors are investigating other murders they believe the gang may have been involved in. The bodies of KamAZ Deputy General Manager and Metallurgy Plant General Director Viktor Faber and Metallurgy Plant Economic Department Head Natalya Starodubtseva, who were kidnapped in May, as well as the general director of the Chally Avtomaster company, Yevgenii Kornev, who was kidnapped more than a year ago, were found on 28 September in Tatarstan.
Police Prevent Tatar Activists From Joining Memorial Service In Kazan
Rafis Kashapov, the head of the Chally branch of the Tatar Public Center (TIU), and two other activists were detained on 12 October by police as they were leaving Chally for Kazan to take part in a day of remembrance for Tatars who lost their lives during the conquest of the Kazan Khanate by Ivan the Terrible in 1552, RFE/RL's Chally correspondent reported on 14 October. In an interview with RFE/RL on 14 October, Kashapov said police equipped with machine guns stopped a bus in which the three men were travelling and held them for three hours. Law enforcement officials reportedly said that Kashapov is not permitted to join the events in Kazan as he is under investigation on accusations of rousing interethnic, racial, and religious hatred (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 26 March, 13 and 23 May, 7 July, and 7 August 2003). The TIU in Chally issued a statement on 12 October saying that Armenians, Georgians, Jews, Russians, deported Chechens, Ingushs, and Crimean Tatars, are allowed to hold and attend memorial ceremonies without being subject to pressure from the authorities. Russian police had violated the Tatar people's human rights, the statement read.
Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova
DAILY REVIEW FROM BASHKORTOSTANNew Public Organization Proposed As Alternative To World Bashkir Congress
Ayrat Dilmokhemmetov, leader of the Bashkir Youth Union, told a press conference on 14 October that a new public organization, the Bashkir People's Congress, will be established in Bashkortostan to defend the Bashkir people's interests, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported the same day. According to Dilmokhemmetov, the congress will seek to revive the ethnic self-identity of the Bashkir people and "represents an alternative to the government-run World Bashkir Congress." He said that the World Bashkir Congress "did not meet the interests of the Bashkir people, because it put the Bashkirs in opposition with other ethnic groups and progress in general." He added, "within the framework of 'Bashkirization' other nationalities are being ousted from government positions, while the new appointees are indifferent to the fate of their people." Referring to the December presidential election in Bashkortostan, Dilmokhemmetov noted that "the future of the Bashkir nation is not associated with the name of President [Murtaza] Rakhimov." At the same press conference, Dilmokhemmetov notified the Bashkir Central Election Commission of his intention to run for the presidency.
Bashkortostan Reports Higher Tax Revenues
Russia's Tax Ministry has collected 56.4 billion rubles ($1.9 billion) in taxes from Bashkortostan in the first nine months of 2003, 7 percent higher than the predicted figure, Rosbalt reported on 14 October. The revenue is split between the federal and republican governments. Income tax represents the major 38 percent share of the revenues, corporate profit tax represents a 22.8 percent share, and the property tax on businesses represents 15.6 percent.
Bashkir Public Figures Oppose Dirty Campaigning
A group of Bashkir public figures on 14 October sent an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian Central Election Commission Chairman Aleksandr Veshnyakov, and Prosecutor-General Vladimir Ustinov asking them to prevent dirty campaigning in Bashkortostan "aimed at destabilizing the social and economic situation in the republic." The signatories included the director of the Russian Drama Theater Mikhail Rabinovich, heads of the government-run Tatar Congress in Bashkortostan and World Bashkir Congress, and representatives of the Ukrainian, Tajik, German, Belarusian, and Turkmen communities. In the letter, the signatories wrote that dirty campaigning created an atmosphere of fear and terror and incited interethnic hatred.
Compiled by Iskender Nurmi