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Kazakhstan: Opposition Figure Taken Away By Special Police

Almaty, 10 April 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The opposition Democratic Choice for Kazakhstan (DVK) movement's Ghalymzhan Zhaqiyanov was taken from his home in Almaty today by Interior Ministry police and brought to the northeastern Pavlodar Oblast. Zhaqiyanov, who was once governor of Pavlodar Oblast, had been under house arrest since he left the French Embassy in Almaty on 3 April. Zhaqiyanov, wanted by authorities on charges of abuse of office while a regional governor, had sought refuge at the embassy to avoid being taken into custody by Kazakh police.

He left the embassy after receiving assurances from the French, German, British, and U.S. embassies that he would not be jailed and would be safe.

Zhaqiyanov maintains the charges against him are fabricated and were raised because of his political activities with the DVK.