The situation of the Udmurt language can be considered in PACE

Erzyan Inyazor Syres Bolyan applied to the chairman of the Ukrainian delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, People’s Deputy of Ukraine Yelyzaveta Yasko.

In his letter, the Erzyan chief Elder asks to bring to the PACE discussion the topic of respect for the rights of the Finno-Ugric peoples of the Russian Federation.

Syres Bolyan tells the Ukrainian politician about the self-immolation of the scientist, Honored Scientist of the Udmurt Republic Albert Razin, who was trying in such a radical way to draw attention to the catastrophic situation in which the Udmurt people are.

Erzyan leader asks Yelyzaveta Yasko “to use her high position to protect the Finno-Ugric peoples of the Russian Federation, to protect fundamental human rights”. Among other things, Inyazor offers:

  1. To instruct the PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights to investigate the circumstances under which Albert Razin was forced to resort to such a terrible form of protest.
  2. Basing on the monitoring results, evaluate the ethnic policy of the Russian Federation and respect for human rights, including the rights of indigenous Finno-Ugric peoples to receive education in their native languages.

“The Russian authorities are trying to quickly forget about the self-immolation of Razin. His political manifestation, his public resistance to the Russification of the Udmurts is an extremely unpleasant topic for Moscow. Razin burned himself not for sympathy, but so that his death would help us, the Finno-Ugric peoples, draw attention to our extremely difficult situation. I applied to the Estonian delegation in PACE. Unfortunately, I did not receive an answer. Now I’m trying to get a reaction from the Ukrainian one,” the Erzyan Inyazor comments on his appeal to Yelyzaveta Yasko.

Recall that in September 2019 Syres Bolyan made a similar appeal to PACE deputy from Estonia Eerik-Niyles Kross, but did not receive an answer.

Text of the appeal translated from Ukrainian

Chairman of the Ukrainian delegation in
Parliamentary Assembly of
The Council of Europe, People’s Deputy of Ukraine
Yelyzaveta Yasko

Dear Ms. Yasko!

In July 2019, according to decision of the national representative body of the Erzyan people – Atian Ezem, I was elected as Inyazor (chief Elder) and authorized to represent the interests of the Erzya before the authorities of the Russian Federation and the international community. Erzya is one of the two titles peoples of the Republic of Mordovia (RF). Along with Moksha, Mari, Udmurts, Karelians, Komi and other peoples, Erzya belong to the representatives of the Finno-Ugric language group.

As you know, on September 10, 2019, in the capital of Udmurtia, the city of Izhevsk near the building of the parliament researcher, Honored Scientist of the Udmurt Republic Albert Razin committed the act of self-immolation. Thus Mr. Razin protested against the policy of forced Russification of the Udmurt, which consistently, for many years, implemented in the Russian Federation. By half an hour before the self-immolation, Mr. Razin was interviewed by the Udmurt journalist, where he described in detail the situation in which the Udmurt and other Finno-Ugric peoples whose lands are in the Russian Federation live: elimination of the Udmurt language, which is a state language in the Udmurt Republic, from the field of public administration, education, outdoor advertising; discrimination of the Udmurt people as “people of the second grade”; aggressive planting of Russian language as a language of social lift.

The federal media completely ignored this political protest as well local media, which are close to the authorities, avoid mentioning in their publications motives for self-immolation – the protest against the policy of Russification, the victims of which Finno-Ugric peoples become. On the second day after the tragedy, local authorities ordered to remove the portraits of Albert Razin and flowers brought by people from the place of self-immolation. Not only position of Udmurt scientist is under censorship, but also the memory of him! In this the modern Russian authorities imitate the behavior of the communist authorities when in Ukraine as a sign of protest against national discrimination, acts of self-immolation were committed by Vasyl Makukh, Oleksa Hirnyk and Musa Mamut.

According to the foregoing, I appeal to you, dear Ms. Yasko, as a Member of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly – Use your high position to protect the Finno-Ugric peoples of the Russian Federation, to protect fundamental human rights. Namely, please consider possibility:

  1. Instruct the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights to examine the PACE the circumstances under which Albert Razin was forced to resort to such terrible form of protest:
    1.1. Are the sufficient conditions for the exercise of the legal right to education in the languages ​​of indigenous peoples created in the Russian Federation, in particular in Udmurt Republic? 1.2. Is the Udmurt language properly represented in the field of government and public space in Udmurt Republic? 1.3. Are the cultural needs of the Udmurt people satisfied just like the cultural needs of the Russians? 1.4. Is there a dialogue between the Russian authorities and representatives of indigenous peoples or there is only an imitation of such dialogue?
  2. To evaluate the ethnic policy of the Russian Federation, respect for human rights, including the rights of autochthonous Finno-Ugric peoples to receive education on their native languages, basing on the monitoring results.

I sincerely hope that our voice will be heard in the free world, because we are deprived of such “luxury” in our native lands.

Regards

Inyazor Syres Bolyan

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