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Kazakh Report: March 6, 2002


6 March 2002

'NACHNEM S PONEDEL'NIKA' FORCED TO SUSPEND PUBLICATION
The Almaty-based weekly "Nachnem s Ponedel'nika" was ordered on 6 March to cease publication for three months. Journalist Mertai Aqsholaqov told RFE/RL that the Bostandyq District Court in Almaty ordered the paper to suspend publication for "technical reasons," namely the "failure of Editorial Board of the newspaper to show its proper address and exact number of copies issued weekly."

On March 1, "Nachnem s Ponedel'nika" conducted a talk show with former Kazakh Prime Minister Akezhan Kazhegeldin, who is chairman of the Republican People's Party of Kazakhstan and the main political challenger to President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Aqsholaqov says that the Court's decision may have been prompted by that event.

KAZAKH CABINET TO REVISE LAW ON FOREIGN INVESTMENTS
At a 6 March session of the Kazakh Cabinet chaired by Kazakh Premier Imanghaliy Tasmaghambetov, it was decided to start discussing next week possible amendments to Kazakhstan's Law on Foreign Investments. Some unnamed sources in the Kazakh Cabinet say that the changes in the law may impose restrictions on foreign investors in Kazakhstan.

LEADER OF KAZAKH MUSLIMS DID NOT SHOW UP IN COURT
Absattar Derbisaliev, who is Mufti of the Muslims of Kazakhstan, failed on 6 March to appear at the Zhetysu District Court in Almaty. He was expected to take part in the court case against Bakhtybay Aynabek, editor of the newspaper "Altyn Orda." The lawsuit against Aynabek was filed by Reverend DerbisAliyev and his associates, who accused Aynabek of publishing inflammatory information about Kazakhstan's religious leaders and of having been involved in extremist religious organizations. Earlier this year, "Altyn Orda" printed several articles criticizing Kazakhstan's Islamic leadership and claiming that DerbisAliyev was appointed by the Kazakh President instead of being elected by the country's Muslims. The trial was postponed until next week.

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