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Kazakh Report: January 10, 2002


10 January 2002

COMMITTEE FOR RELEASE OF ORAL SAULEBAY HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE
On January 10 members of the Committee for the Release of Oral Saulebay held a press conference in Almaty at which they told journalists that Saulebay's fate is still not clear. A leading member of the AZAT movement and Chairman of the Committee for the Protection of Kazakh Land, Saulebay was detained by Uzbek police on December 30 after residents of the village of Baghys on the Kazakh-Uzbek border proclaimed an independent republic in an attempt to draw the attention of the Kazakh and Uzbek governments to their problems. Ten years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, over 2,000 local residents, mainly ethnic Kazakhs, still do not know what country they are citizens of. Saulebay, who actively participated in demonstrations supporting the self-proclaimed independence of Baghys, was accused of insulting the honor of Uzbek and Kazakh Presidents and of organizing unsanctioned mass gatherings.

Oral Saulebay was transferred from an Uzbek jail to the police department of South Kazakhstan Oblast three days ago but the local authorities refuse to give any details of his whereabouts. Karishal Asanov, who is Chairman of the Committee for the Release of Oral Saulebay, told journalists that his Committee has written to the Kazakh government, parliament and Prosecutor General urging them to release Saulebay as soon as possible.

KAZAKHSTAN'S STATE HALYQTYQ BANK SELLS SHARES
Officials of Kazakhstan's State Halyqtyq bank told journalists on January 10 that the bank has managed to gain a profit estimated at $41 million through selling 33.3 per cent of its shares. The shares were reportedly bought by the Manghystau-MunayGaz State Company. It was also reported that the purchase of the shares was conducted under a program drafted in 1998. Qayrat Saldykhanov has been running Halyqtyq Bank as Chairman of the Directors' Council since 4 January.

EUROPEAN COMMISSION REPRESENTATIVES IN ASTANA
Official representatives of European Commission held a press conference in Astana on 10 January at which they acquainted journalists with the new Euro bills and explained that the Euro has been introduced in 12 countries of European Union starting this month. They announced that international investments in the Kazakh economy may now be made in Euros. Several Kazakh banks including Kazkommertsbank, Lariba Bank and others have already started transactions in Euros.

90TH ANNIVERSARY OF DINMUKHAMMED KUNAYEV's BIRTH MARKED IN ALMATY
On January 10, a conference devoted to the 90th anniversary of the birth of former Communist Party of Kazakhstan First Secretary Dinmukhammed Kunayev was held in Almaty. Rysqaliy Duysenghaliev, a 86-year-old photographer exhibited 25 photos of Kunayev at a special exhibition devoted to the anniversary. Kazakh Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Mukhtar Shakhanov said that the whole truth about Kunayev has not been been made public. The chairman of the Soros-Kazakhstan Foundation, Murat Auezov, thinks that Dinmukhammed Kunayev's role in Kazakh history will only be fully evaluated in 10-15 years time.

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