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Kazakh Report: January 23, 2002


23 January 2002

SOME KAZAKH PARLIAMENT DEPUTIES OPPOSE SENDING KAZAKH TROOPS TO AFGHANISTAN
Several deputies to the Mazhilis -- the Lower Chamber of the Kazakh parliament -- have expressed their negative attitude to the Kazakh cabinet's decision to send humanitarian aid and peace-keeping forces to Afghanistan. Last week, a Kazakh Foreign Ministry delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Qayrat Abuseitov visited Afghanistan, where it was decided in talks with the interim government that Kazakhstan will open an embassy in Kabul and send peace-keeping troops and humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

Mazhilis Deputy Serikbolsyn Abdildin, who is also the leader of Kazakhstan's Communist Party, said told the Mazhilis on 23 January that he is against sending Kazakh troops to a foreign country to protect the interests of that country. Meanwhile deputy Ghani Qasymov said that national security should become the responsibility of Kazakh Parliament. Qasymov said Kazakhstan's National Security Council is very passive and is not able to solve the main problems concerning the country's security.

WILL RUSSIA QUIT BAIKONUR SPACE COMPLEX?
RFE/RL correspondents quote the KTK TV Channel as reporting that Russia plans to stop operations at the Baikonur space complex in Central Kazakhstan by the end of 2003. The high fee ($115 million per annum) Russia pays to lease that facility was mentioned among the reaons for Moscow's decision. According to KTK correspondents, Russia plans to move all its space research operations to the Plisetsk rocket launching site by the end of next year. Kazakh Parliament deputies recently raised the issue of ecological problems in Central Kazakhstan allegedly caused by the operations at Baikonur Space Complex.

PRESIDENT'S SON-IN-LAW SUES INTERNEWS-KAZAKHSTAN
President Nursultan Nazarbayev's son-in-law Rakhat Aliyev has decided to sue Internews-Kazakhstan media outlet for "insulting his personal dignity and honor," RFE/RL's Almaty bureau reported on 23 January. Aliyev claimed his honor was insulted by an article entitled "The Khabarization of the Whole Country" issued by Internews-Kazakhstan's web-page last year. The Almaty City Court has already found another periodical - "Vremiya Po - The Globe" newspaper-- guilty of insulting Aliyev's dignity and honor last month. Both Internews-Kazakhstan and "Vremiya Po-The Globe" featured materials on the situation faced by some media outlets in Kazakhstan and giving information on the alleged control exerted over most mass media in Kazakhstan by Rakhat Aliyev and his wife Darigha Nazarbayeva.

IRBIS TV COMPANY IN PAVLODAR AGAIN FACES PROBLEMS
Pavlodar's Irbis TV Company was taken to court again this week. This time Vladimir Dvoretskii, who is a a member of the Pavlodar City Council (Maslikhat), accused Irbis of insulting his personal dignity and honor. Earlier this month the same TV company was sued by the Pavlodar Aluminium Joint Stock Company (see "RFE/RL Kazakh Report," 18 January 2002). The Pavlodar City Court found Irbis TV-Company guilty of hurting dignity of leaders of that company.

Amangeldy Zhaqsybayev of Irbis TV-Company told RFE/RL that both lawsuit filed by the Pavlodar Aluminium Joint Stock Company and that filed by Dvoretskii against Irbis were politically motivated. He also said that Irbis TV-Company faces problems caused by the decision of its landlord to increase the rental lease, which he attributed to the political stand-off between former Pavlodar Oblast governor Ghalymzhan Zhaqiyanov and the Kazakh government. Zhaqiyanov is a leading co-founder of the opposition movement Democratic Choice for Kazakhstan.

KAZAKH PARLIAMENT DISCUSSES POSSIBLE AMENDMENTS TO LAW ON FAMILY AND CHILDREN
Discussions in the Mazhilis on 23 January of possible amendments to the law on family and children ended without any results. The main issue discussed was amending the regulations on the adoption of Kazakh children by foreigners. Some deputies even called for a halt to allowing foreigners to adopt Kazakh children. After a lengthy discussion, it was decided to send the draft law on possible amendments back to the cabinet for revision.

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