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Tatar Activist Detained In Kazan, Questioned In Financial Fraud Probe

Nail Nabiullin appears in court in Kazan in March 2017.
Nail Nabiullin appears in court in Kazan in March 2017.

KAZAN, Russia -- A Tatar activist says he has been detained for questioning by Russian police as part of an investigation into suspected financial fraud.

Nail Nabiullin told RFE/RL by telephone that he was detained on August 15 in Kazan, the capital of Russia's Tatarstan region, and brought to a police station.

There, Nabiullin said he was told that a person resembling him had taken out a loan of 30,800 rubles ($460) in 2017 from a local bank and failed to pay it back.

Police officers showed Nabiullin a photo of the suspect, who the activist said did not look like him at all.

"Police did not fill out any protocol regarding my detainment. They asked me to confess to something I did not do, promising that they would close the case If I do so. I rejected the proposal and I am waiting for my lawyer," Nabiullin told RFE/RL while still in police custody.

Nabiullin is an active member of Tatarstan's Azatlyq (Liberty) Union of the Tatar Youth.

In March 2017, he received a suspended two-year prison sentence after a court in Kazan found him guilty of falsely accusing a local man, Sergei Zhuravlyov, of assaulting him.

Nabiullin said the case against him was retaliation by local authorities for his attempts to preserve the Tatar language and culture among Tatar youth.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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