The All-Tatar Public Center's deputy chairman, Galishan Nuriakhmet (right) and lawyer Aleksei Zlatkin said that the ruling will be appealed.
KAZAN, Russia -- The Supreme Court of the Republic of Tatarstan in Russia has labeled the All-Tatar Public Center (TIU), a leading nongovernmental organization involved in promoting and protecting Tatar history, culture, and language, as an extremist group amid Moscow's ongoing crackdown on NGOs.
The Supreme Court's press service told RFE/RL that the decision was made on June 10 at the request of the Prosecutor-General’s Office of Tatarstan.
The Tatar Prosecutor-General's Office said earlier that it had requested the shuttering of the TIU because it felt statements by some Tatar activists at a 2019 public gathering contained "elements of extremism," while the TIU's charter has sentences that can be interpreted as calling for the separation of Tatarstan from Russia. TIU leader Farit Zakiyev, who is currently in Turkey, called the court ruling "expected," adding that "in current Russia, there is no way for independent nongovernmental organizations to survive." "The last independent Tatar organization was liquidated. We have nothing to do with extremism. Our goals have been known for decades -- Tatar as a state language, the State Tatar University, the preservation of statehood, the national identity of the people and of the nation," Zakiyev said. TIU Deputy Chairman Galishan Nuriakhmet and lawyer Aleksei Zlatkin told RFE/RL that the ruling will be appealed. The TIU has been functioning since 1989. In recent years, the organization has been under pressure from authorities in the wake of an ongoing crackdown on nongovernment organizations, independent media, and democratic institutions across Russia. In late October last year, the Justice Ministry suspended the TIU's operations, claiming that the organization carries out "extremist activities."