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Bashkir Blogger Ordered Not To Leave City

UFA, Bashkortostan -- A court in the Russian republic of Bashkortostan has told a local historian not to leave the regional capital, Ufa, while authorities continue to investigate his activities on an opposition website, RFE/RL’s Tatar-Bashkir Service reports.

Igor Kuchumov is one of five activists who were briefly detained earlier this month for alleged extremist activities.

The five were accused of propagating extremism and inter-ethnic hatred through the expression of their ideas on the website, which is frequently critical of Bashkortostan's government.

Two of the men -- the Center for Bashkortostan's ethnic Tatar leader Ildar Gabdrafikov and historical essayist Sergei Orlov – were later put under house arrest in Ufa.

On September 4, the court is scheduled to decide if another of the men -- businessman Nikolai Shvetsov, who is currently in hospital with heart problems -- should be brought into custody.

The fifth activist, Konstantin Nesterov, is currently in detention.

The case stems from a regional history book written by Shvetsov – with help from Orlov -- in which Bashkortostan's indigenous people, Bashkirs, are depicted as uncultured and barbaric in resisting Russian dominance.

Some Russian and Tatar public organizations in Bashkortostan accuse the republican government of building an ethnocratic regime in which Bashkirs are favored at the expense of sizable Russian and Tatar communities.