Information Centre of Finno-Ugric Peoples
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Press release 7 May 2005

Press releases

Finnish journalist denied Russian visa (27.12.05)

Young Finno-Ugrians at the Congress of Turkic Youth (21.11.05)

International attention to problems of national minorities in the Russian Federation is not decreasing (01.11.05)

Chairman of Youth Association of Finno-Ugric Peoples attacked in Mari Republic, Russia (28.08.05)

Lusatian Sorbs express their solidarity with Udmurts (26.08.05)

Ethnic minority in Russia: media is filled with misinformation (25.08.05)

Closing of the 10th International Congress of Finno-Ugric Studies in Yoshkar-Ola (21.08.05)

Hopeless Udmurts appeal to Europe for support (19.08.05)

Russian authorities threatening an ethnic minority organisation (17.08.05)

Scientists replaced with officials at a scientific congress in Russia (16.08.05)

Tenth International Congress of Finno-Ugric Studies in Russia (15.08.05)

Estonian delegation to the 10th International Congress of Finno-Ugric Studies smaller than expected (12.08.05)

Estonian and Saami Theatres Start Co-operating with the Kalevala in Estonia (10.08.05)

An ethnographic film banned in Russia now available on DVD (09.08.05)

Doctoral scholarship in Estonia for foreign Finno-Ugrians (06.08.05)

An open letter to the President of Finland Tarja Halonen (02.08.05)

Estonian students caught in the wheels of Russia's internal politics (02.08.05)

Expulsion of Estonian students from the Mari Republic of Russian Federation (22.07.05)

The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation supporting the Mari people in Russia (07.07.05)

Ethnic minority convenes its congress in the underground (07.06.05)

Fascist group in Russia asserts being instructed by local administration (31.05.05)

Russian composer did not celebrate his anniversary in his home town (19.05.05)

European Parliament steps forth in defence of a national minority in Russia (12.05.05)

Members of the European Parliament pass an action plan to improve the situation of Finno-Ugric minorities in Russia (27.04.05)

Finno-Ugric Minority of Russia Grateful to the European Parliament for Support (26.04.05)

Estonian Member of European Parliament on discussion with Russian parliamentarians on Russia’s minorities (22.04.05)

European Parliament Examining the Mari Situation in Russia (11.03.05)

Mari Nation Under Threat in Russia (22.02.05)

Opposition leaders still persecuted in Mari El: Vladimir Kozlov assaulted (04.02.05)

Read more
(information and news about Mari people in Mari, Russian, Estonian, English)

 Press releases by the Estonian Institute for Human Rights:



Unrepresented Nations' and Peoples' Organisation


The 50th Congress of the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) held 4-8 May in Bucharest, Romania, discussed the situation of Maris, a Russia's minority people.

This 650 thousand-strong people living in the Mari Republic (Mari El), some 500 miles to the east of Moscow, demands the restoration of their human and civil rights, the immediate end of ethnic discrimination and harassment of political opposition, mass media and nongovernmental organisations of their people. Organisations of the Maris also demand the right for education, publications and broadcasts in their native language to the extent equal to that available for Russians in the Mari Republic.

"Today there are absolutely no people descending from the Republic of Mari El in the Russia's federal representative bodies. In the Government of the Republic of Mari El itself, only three or four public employees of Mari origin have remained", described the Chairman of the Mari Congress Vladimir Kozlov the ethnic cleansing carried out in the local administration of Mari republic, speaking to the FUEN congress. Kozlov used the term "policy marked with Marifobia" and accused the administration of this Russian province in "a planned action intended to finally abolish the Republic of Mari El as a subject of the Russian Federation".

Kozlov was invited to give the FUEN first-hand information, since the situation of the Maris has caused international attention. This February, Kozlov was brutally beaten in his hometown, just like many Mari journalists, political leaders and cultural workers before him, by unknown persons. This has caused international protest, including the Appeal on Behalf of the Mari People written by a group of Finnish scientists, and an action of collecting signatures to support the Maris. On the web page people from over sixty countries have signed this appeal calling on Russia to stop the oppression of the Mari minority.

The Congress of FUEN decided to include the information on Maris into the report on the realisation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. The Presiding Committee will draft a resolution on the Mari issue.

Meanwhile the European Parliament is preparing to say its word. A draft resolution on the situation in the Mari Republic was introduced on 2 May by representatives of Social Democrats, Conservatives and Liberals. The draft will be submitted to the plenary session of the European Parliament to be held next week in Strasbourg.

The Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) [In French: Union Féderaliste des Communautés Ethniques Européennes (UFCE); in German: Föderalistishce Union Europäischer Volksgruppen (FUEV)] is an independent umbrella association of the organisations of national minorities in Europe, which was established in 1949. Today, the FUEN includes 76 member organisations from 32 states. According to its statutes, the FUEN serves the ethnic groups in Europe and pursues the goal of preserving their national identity, their language, culture and the history of national minorities. This objective is pursued only by peaceful means. It decisively takes a stand against separatism and the violent moving of national borders, and works towards a neighbourly, peaceful coexistence of majority and minority in one state or region. In recognition of its efforts towards attaining protection for European minorities, the FUEN obtained consultative status to the Council of Europe in 1989 and a consultative status to the United Nations in 1995. It is also represented at OSCE (the former CSCE) conferences concerning national minorities and ethnic groups.,