The ethnic organization «Bashkort» on Wednesday published an appeal to the Russian and international community to pay attention to the persecution of the organization by the authorities and stand up for it.
In their appeal, activists of «Bashkort» stated that «today in the Republic of Bashkortostan of the Russian Federation there is a complete suppression of Bashkir national movement». This is reported by the journalist of «Idel.Реалии» Artur Asafyev.
The authors of the document reminded that for the entire five-year existence of the organization, it was under pressure, both from the Republican authorities and from law enforcement agencies. «A criminal cases against the organization’s leadership were initiated, searches at the office and in the homes of its members were carried out, the events were disrupted and the actions were banned; the apogee of all this press from the authorities of the Republic was the claim of Prosecutor’s office with a demand to recognize the organization as extremist», — the activists of «Bashkort» noted.
On February 7, the Supreme court of Bashkortostan began a trial on the claim of the Republican Prosecutor’s office to recognize the organization «Bashkort» as an extremist and ban its activities. The supervisory authority collected in one «package» all claims that were put forward to the organization by law enforcement agencies over the past two years, including the holding of a rally for defense of the Bashkir language in 2017, numerous iyiyns (Bashkir people’s gatherings), including one in defense of the Kushtau Mountain-Shikhan, which is threatened by industrial development by the «Bashkir Soda Company». In the speeches of activists at these events, the Prosecutor’s office found signs of «extremism».
«Lawyers and advocates who undertook to defend the Bashkir organization speak with one voice about the absurdity of the charges, calling the process completely political. We consider this trial to be a prosecution for our beliefs, and it is up to us to protect the rights and freedoms of the Bashkir people. Our organization defends the nature and ecology of the Republic, fights the problem of public alcoholization, illegal sale of alcohol, and defends the Bashkir state language. All this can not be liked by the oligarchic-corrupt government», – the appeal of «Bashkort» states.
The activists also stressed that one of the main reasons for the persecution of the organization is its «firm position to prevent the development of a unique in its beauty and value the Kushtau mountain, which is also a sacred mountain for Bashkirs».
The document states that if the organization is recognized as an extremist, then in the future «criminal cases will begin against its members». «Today, closing eyes to how your neighbor’s rights and freedoms are being destroyed, you can miss when they come for you», the appeal says.
In conclusion, «Bashkort» appealed to the Russian and international community to stand up for it and «do not allow to come true the lawlessness that is happening today in the Republic».
The appeal of «Bashkort» is also published in English.