Tallinn, 22 July 2005Tallinn, 07 July 2005
For immediate release
Information Centre of Finno-Ugric Peoples
phone/fax: +372 644 9270
e-mail: suri@suri.ee

Youth organisation YAFUP/MAFUN declares the politisation of student conference IFUSCO inadmissible

"The YAFUP/MAFUN Board hopes that state authorities of the Republic of Mari El will assist in creating favourable and democratic conditions for the International Finno-Ugrist Students’ Conference IFUSCO XXII and other events. However, the YAFUP/MAFUN Board declares as a matter of principle that attempts to involve the youth into political games are inadmissible from any side, including the official bodies of the Republic of Mari El". This is what the Board of YAFUP/MAFUN, the Youth Association of Finno-Ugric Peoples, says in its Appeal that was published on 8th March in English and Russian at the official internet-sites of this organisation www.mafun.org and www.mafun.ru.

The conference IFUSCO will be held in May this year in the Republic of Mari El. The X International Congress for Finno-Ugric Studies was held in August last year at the same place in the Republic of Mari El. The authorities of this republic attempted to use the event as an instrument in political struggle with the opposition. Some days after the congress, YAFUP/MAFUN chairman Vassily Petrov was mercilessly beaten in his village in Mari El (see press releases of the Information Centre of Finno-Ugric Peoples SURI from 16.08.2005, 28.08.2005 as well as 22.02.2005).

The YAFUP/MAFUN Board expressed in its present appeal indignation of the attack on YAFUP/MAFUN chairman Vassily Petrov as well as resolute protest "against insinuations and lies of official authorities of the Republic of Mari El connected to this incident". The Board declared also its resoluteness to stand up for its right to independent evaluation of the conditions of the Finno-Ugric youth and joined the Appeal on Behalf of the Mari People. This appeal was published in the internet in February last year and collected already in couple of months more than ten thousand signatures from many countries and support of several prestigious organisations.

The Youth Association of Finno-Ugric Peoples YAFUP/MAFUN, uniting 39 Finno-Ugric youth organisations from Finland, Hungary, Estonia and the Russian Federation, is an independent, non-governmental, and non-political international union that was created to establish cultural contacts and so as to strengthen national self-consciousness among the Finno-Ugric youth.

Appeal of the Board of the Youth Association of Finno-Ugric Peoples
To the international society and the state authorities of Finno-Ugric countries and regions