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Kazakh Report: May 28, 2002


28 May 2002

KAZAKH OFFICIALS MAKE STATEMENTS ON REPRISALS AGANIST INDEPENDENT MEDIA OUTLETS
Kenzhebolat Beknazarov, who is Kazakhstan's National Security Committee press secretary, told journalists on 28 May that the committee had nothing to do with the attacks last week on the newspapers "SolDat" and "Delovoye Obozreniye-Respublika." He said rumors about the committee's alleged involvement into the Molotov cocktail attack on " Delovoye Obozreniye-Respublika" and the beating of two "SolDat" journalists are "far from the truth," and that the best experts at Kazakh Ministry of Interior Affairs are investigating the case.

Bolat Ibraikhanov of Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry similarly said at a press conference in Astana on 28 May that Foreign Minister Qasymzhomart Toqayev is very concerned about the situation faced by some media outlets in Kazakhstan. He said that Kazakhstan as a democratic country is doing its best to guarantee rights and freedoms for all its citizens.

Meanwhile, the Almaty City Economic Court ruled on 27 May that "Delovoye-Obozreniye-Respublika" should cease publication and be closed. According to the Court's verdict, the editorial board of "Delovoye Obozreniye-Respublika" failed to comply with a court ruling handed down in April to suspend its operations due to its alleged failure to show the exact days it is published. The newspaper had continued publication in spite of that ruling.

FORMER EDITOR OF KTK TV CHANNEL IN GERMAN CUSTODY
According to the Kazakh Interior Ministry, the former Chief Editor of KTK TV Channel, Sergei Kleschenkov, has recently been detained by German police who asked the Kazakh Interior Ministry's assistance in investigating some criminal events in which Kleshchenkov is allegedly involved. It is not clear what kind of accusations Kleschenkov is facing. According to Kazakh Interior Ministry representatives, Kleschenkov is not a Kazakh citizen, and the Kazakh official passport on which he was travelling abroad is not valid.

KTK TV Channel is one of the most popular and important private television channels in Almaty.

RUSSIAN POP-STARS INVITED TO ASTANA'S CAPITAL DAY
Russian pop-stars and groups including Iosif Kobzon, Oleg Gazmanov, Alsu, Na-Na, and others, have been invited to Astana to participate in a special show devoted to the so-called Day of the Capital. Astana (former Aqmola) has marked that day every year since 1998. A new park and tennis court will be opened in Astana on June 6. The celebrations are expected to last from June 6-10. Astana Vice-Mayor Tolegen Mukhametzhan told journalists on 28 May that such celebrations contribute to developing a sense of national pride and patriotism.

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