CHALLY, Russia — A prominent Tatar nationalist leader has been taken to the local prosecutor’s office and warned against propagating “extremism,” RFE/RL’s Tatar-Bashkir Service reports.
Fauziya Bayramova is the chairwoman of the self-proclaimed pan-Tatar Milli Madjlis (National Assembly), which positions itself as a parliament uniting all Tatars living in Russia and other countries around the world.
The Milli Madjlis press service told journalists that Federal Security Service (FSB) personnel went on October 3 to Bayramova’s apartment in Chally, Tatarstan’s second-largest city, while she was preparing for a working trip to Kazakhstan.
The press service said Bayramova was forced into a car and taken to the Chally city prosecutor’s office, where the prosecutor’s aide, Ilshat Farkhetdinov, warned her about the possible consequences of spreading extremism.
The local prosecutor considers “extremist” views Bayramova expressed in recent articles posted to the internet entitled “We are Tatars, not Russians” and “The Heritage of the Tatar People.”
Bayramova said she told Farkhetdinov she does not think her articles contain any calls for extremism. She said she simply expressed her views regarding “my nation’s rights that were taken away by the empire.” Bayramova also said she will continue to defend the rights of the Tatar nation, and “if you think my death will shut my mouth, just know that my books will continue doing what I have been doing, and what I will always be doing.”
Bayramova has been warned before by police and security officials about her statements and articles calling for the preservation of Tatar culture, language, and identity.
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