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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 28, 2005

28 June 2005
Antiterrorism Center To Be Set Up In Chelyabinsk Oblast
Chelyabinsk Oblast Deputy Governor Valentin Buravlev told a government meeting on 23 June that an antiterrorist center will be founded on the basis of the Russian Federal Security Service in the Chelyabinsk Oblast Directorate, Regnum reported on 24 June. The government allocated over 48 million rubles to purchase special equipment and devices for the facility, Buravlev said.

Accident At MMK Claims Four
Four people died as a result of the collapse of metal constructions at Chelyabinsk Oblast's Magnitogorsk Metallurgy Plant (MMK) on 23 June, Regnum reported the next day. Those killed were employees of the Interservis company that was subcontracted to disassemble equipment at the plant. According to preliminary reports, violations of industrial safety rules are the reason for the accident.

Muslims Promote Post Of Russian Vice President
Nizhnii Novgorod Muslims have made a call for the introduction of the post of the Russian vice president and for it to be occupied by a Muslim, Regnum reported on 21 June.

The head of the Information and Propaganda Department of Nizhnii Novgorod Oblast's Muslim Religious Board (DUMNO), Asiya Devletchina, told the news agency that DUMNO leaders plan to discuss the issue in the near future with Russia's Muslim leaders and then to appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin. An article in the newspaper "Medina," which is published by DUMNO, speculated that such a move would help stabilize the social situation in Russia and prevent "orange revolutions" from occurring. According to "Medina," Muslims who lived in these territories before the Russian state was formed, currently face major difficulty getting mosques returned to them and in opening Muslim schools, which authorities consider to be teaching extremism. The vice president would be expected to represent the Russian president on religious holidays, Muslims gatherings, and to take part in meetings with leaders from Islamic countries, DUMNO said. It added that the introduction of a quota for Muslims in state bodies at all levels would moderate relations between different Islamic trends and Muslim organizations.

LDPR Leader's Aide Assaulted In Nizhnii
Vladimir Semenov, an aide to State Duma Deputy Aleksandr Kurdyumov (Liberal Democratic Party of Russia), was assaulted in Nizhnii Novgorod on 22 June, Regnum reported the same day. Semenov was attacked and beaten by unknown assailants as he was leaving his house. Semenov's briefcase -- which reportedly had $10,000 in it -- and documents were taken in the incident as the assailants tried to drag him into a car. Kurdyumov, who is a coordinator for the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia's Nizhnii Novgorod regional branch, told the news agency that this is the second similar incident this year. On 8 January, another of Kurdyumov's aides, Sergei Sidnev, was severely beaten in Nizhnii Novgorod.

Human Rights Activists Reveal Violations In Pretrial Detention Facilities
Minimum standards for prisoners are not provided in pretrial detentions of Perm Oblast towns of Cherdyn, Krasnovishersk, and Solikamsk, Regnum reported on 23 June. That conclusion was made by Perm regional Human Rights Center (HRC) activists who inspected the oblast's three penal institutions.

Specifically, inmates in the Cherdyn institution are fed only once a day. In the same facility, there are no windows in the areas where people are kept, and lighting is minimal. In Solikamsk, criminals are kept together with those being prosecuted for administrative violations. There is also little light and no ventilation in the three institutions. In all of them, inmates are not permitted to take walks. HRC Director Sergei Makhrov told the news agency that no information about the rights of those detained was available in the three institutions that were inspected by the HRC.

Former Governor Adviser Convicted In Saratov Oblast
Eduard Abrosimov, the former adviser to Saratov Oblast Governor Dmitrii Ayatskov, was convicted on 22 June by the Saratov Volzhsk Raion Court of slander and sentenced to seven months imprisonment, Regnum-VolgaInform reported on 23 June. Abrosimov has spent almost four months in pretrial detention.

Rights Activists Report Torture In Sverdlovsk Oblast's Pretrial Detention Institutions
Human Rights Organizations Union Chairman Vladimir Popov told Regnum on 27 June that 10 cases of torture on people being held in pretrial detention in Sverdlovsk Oblast were reported in the past 18 months.

Popov said police beat detained people to force them to falsely admit to crimes or even "just for fun." Yekaterinburg human rights activist Aleksandr Livchak said two or three people beaten by Interior Ministry employees die every year. Livchak said there are no official statistics on the issue and estimated that the total number of people beaten by Interior Ministry employees could be as high as several thousand each year.

Powerful Explosive Found In Tyumen Apartment Store
A home-made explosive device was found in a store near an apartment block in the Tyumen Oblast town of Tobolsk and neutralized on 23 June, Interfax-Urals reported on 24 June. A representative from the Prosecutor's Office told the news agency that the hexogen-containing jar was capable of destroying several dozen apartments. Apartment residents were evacuated and the explosive was moved outside the city. The device, in a carton, was brought to the store by two teenagers.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova