Man Dies After Self-Immolation Protest Over Language Policies In Russia’s Udmurtia

Razin_Albert

Albert Razin

A 79-year-old man who lit himself on fire protesting against Russia’s language policies in the capital of the Volga region of Udmurtia has died.

The incident occurred outside the regional parliament in the city of Izhevsk on September 10, ahead of a session during which lawmakers were set to debate a controversial language bill.

The man, named Albert Razin, was holding two signs reading “If my language dies tomorrow then I’m ready to die today” and “Do I have a Fatherland?”

He was said to be in critical condition, with burns on nearly 100 percent of his body.

The Investigative Committee has launched an investigation.

The Udmurt State Council postponed its session following the incident, reports said.

Razin, a doctor in philosophy and an Udmurt activist, was among a group of local experts who had signed an open latter calling on the Udmurt parliament not to support the bill on the teaching of “native languages” in schools that has angered representatives of many of the country’s ethnic minorities.

The bill, approved by Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, last year, canceled the mandatory teaching of indigenous languages in Russia’s so-called ethnic regions and republics, where there is a relatively high proportion of non-Russian ethnic groups.

Non-Russian Languages Being Pushed Out of Schools in Five Middle Volga Republics

Responding to complaints from ethnic Russians living in these regions, President Vladimir Putin said in 2017 that children should not be compelled to study languages that are not their mother tongues.

The bill is considered in Russia’s so-called ethnic regions, including Udmurtia, as an existential threat.

The Udmurt language is of the Uralic stem, which also includes Finno-Ugric languages. The number of people who speak the language has decreased from 463,000 in 2002 to 324,000 in 2010.

There are some 560,000 ethnic Udmurts living in Russia’s Volga region, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine.

The Udmurt community represents some 560,000 people living mostly in the Volga region, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine.

Source: RFE/RL

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under News, Pictures, Video

One response to “Man Dies After Self-Immolation Protest Over Language Policies In Russia’s Udmurtia

  1. Pingback: Udmurtian kansan ja kielen puolesta: Albert Razin 1940-2019 - Taivaannaula

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s