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Court In Tatarstan Fines Poet For Tearing Up Ballot In Polling Station


Lilia Gazizova

KAZAN, Russia -- A court in Russia's Tatarstan region has fined poet Lilia Gazizova for tearing a ballot at a polling station during the March 18 presidential election.

The Vakhitov district court in Kazan, the regional capital, fined Gazizova 2,000 rubles ($35) on March 19.

The court said Gazizova tore the ballot up in public and then she pressed the fire-alarm button inside the polling station, which "temporarily disrupted the voting process at the station."

She pleaded not guilty.

Gazizova came to prominence last year with poems condemning the Russian authorities' move to abolish mandatory Tatar-language classes in schools in Tatarstan.

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