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Kazakhstan: Protest Rallies Banned

Almaty, 15 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Authorities in several cities in Kazakhstan -- Aktau, Arkalyk, Kostanay, Pavlodar, Petropavlovsk, Oskemen -- have prohibited local trade unions from holding strikes and demonstrations on October 17, designated the International Day Against Poverty.

Kazakh trade unions condemned the ban, and union leaders sent a letter to President Nursultan Nazarbayev protesting what they called a violation of their civil rights.

Afterwards, Almaty's trade unions were granted permission to hold a demonstration in front of the building of Scientists House in Almaty. The unions then issued a statement calling on citizens to participate in this rally October 17.