UFA, Russia — Some personal belongings of a missing opposition activist in Bashkortostan have been found in a forest near the Russian republic’s capital, Ufa.
Colleagues of Ilham Yanberdin, who has been missing for one week, told RFE/RL that the activist’s belongings, namely his coat, jacket, and sweater, as well as his mobile phone, were found by people searching for the noted activist in a forest in Ufa’s Inors district on October 17.
The clothes were folded and found along with the phone in a plastic bag in a clearing in the forest, they said.
Yanberdin’s wife Rasima told RFE/RL that the activist has been missing since October 11, when he was expected to attend a protest against the city administration’s plans to remove a monument to Bashkir national hero Salavat Yulayev in Ufa for “repairs.” He failed to show up at the event, while calls to his phone since that day went unanswered.
Rasima also said that she filed an official report on her missing husband with police on October 15. According to her, the personal belongings found in the forest have been turned over to police.
Yanberdin, 41, has been known for his opposition activism for years. He has been fined several times, sentenced to community work, and handed several multiday jail terms for taking part in unsanctioned rallies in recent years.
On October 15, while he was missing, a court in Ufa ordered Yanberdin and two other opposition activists to pay hefty fines to compensate police for working during a weekend in January, when the activists organized unsanctioned rallies to support jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny.