29 March 2002
POLICE ATTEMPT TO ARREST SECOND OPPOSITION MOVEMENT LEADER
Police in Almaty attempted late on 28 March to arrest former Pavlodar Oblast governor Galymzhan Zhakiyanov, who is one of the leaders of the opposition movement Democratic Choice for Kazakhstan (DVK). Zhakiyanov was fired as oblast governor last November shortly after DVK was founded, and criminal charges were filed against him.
Earlier on 28 March, Zhakiyanov chaired a press conference in Almaty in connection with the arrest the previous day of DVK co-founder and former Energy, Industry and Trade Minister Mukhtar Abliyazov. Abliyazov is charged with embezzlement during his tenure as director of the energy conglomerate KEGOC in 1997-1998. It was announced at the press conference that a mass demonstration will take place on 30 March to protest the most recent reprisals against opposition figures in Kazakhstan.
Members of DVK movement, parliament deputies, and representatives of different political movements held a further press conference on 29 March at which it was announced that Zhakiyanov is no longer on Kazakh territory. One of the parliament deputies, Serikbolsyn Abdildin, told RFE/RL that Zhakiyanov is on the territory of a foreign embassy in Almaty, but did not say which country's.
Meanwhile, the transmission facilities of the TN TV company, one of the few non-governmental stations, which had promised to broadcast the 30 March demonstration live, have been damaged. The company's director told journalists at a press conference on 29 March that unknown men entered the facilities last night, and opened fire, damaging transmission equipment. He showed the bullets. He said it will take at least five or six days before the damage is repaired and broadcasting can resume.