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Kazakh Report: June 13, 2002


13 June 2002

POLICE DISPERSE GATHERING IN ALMATY IN SUPPORT OF GHALYMZHAN ZHAQIYANOV AND MUKHTAR ABLIYAZOV
Several dozen activists and leaders of opposition parties and movements gathered in Almaty on 13 June to demand the immediate release of former Pavlodar Oblast governor Ghalymzhan Zhaqiyanov and former Minister of Industry and Trade Mukhtar Abliyazov. They also started collecting signatures to a petition addressed to the Kazakh government. The gathering was dispersed by city police who detained more than a dozen participants, including Pokoleniye (Generation) movement leader Irina Savostina, Ersain Erqozha, who heads the movement Education is the Hope of Kazakhstan's Future Generation, and several leading members of the Republican People Party of Kazakhstan. RFE/RL correspondent Batyrkhan Darimbet, who was trying to cover the event, was also detained but released after several hours.

COMMITTEE FOR RELEASE OF GHALYMZHAN ZHAQIYANOV UNDER PRESSURE
Mariya Abenova of the Semey (Semipalatinsk) Committee for the Liberation of Ghalymzhan Zhaqiyanov told RFE/RL that local police visited the committee on 13 June to check whether it has been officially registered with the local Justice Department. She said the police confiscated all the committee's documents, including press releases and petitions calling for Zhaqiyanov's release from detention.

REPRESENTATIVES OF EUROPEAN COMMISSION, OSCE, GERMAN EMBASSY IN ALMATY DISCUSS MEDIA SITUATION IN KAZAKHSTAN
A two-day conference on the situation faced by independent media outlets in Kazakhstan opened in Almaty on June 13. The conference is organized by the Adil-Soz nongovernment organization of Kazakhstan and the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation. Officials from the European Commission, OSCE and German Embassy are participating.

Independent journalists and foreign experts discussed the recent attacks on several independent and opposition TV-channels and newspapers. Speaking about the Molotov cocktail attack on the newspaper "Delovoe Obozrenie-Respublika" and the beating of two journalists from the newspaper "SolDat," independent journalist Sergei Duvanov said that such attacks can be defined as "state-organized terrorism, since the Kazakh government adores and supports state-run media outlets and attacks those newspapers and TV-channel which dare to operate out of its control."

'AQ-ZHAYIQ' NEWSPAPER IN ATYRAU OBLAST RECEIVES SHOCKING WARNING
Sabyr Qayirzhanov, who is editor-in-chief of the newspaper "Aq-Zhayiq" in Atyrau Oblast, told RFE/RL that he and his colleagues were shocked to find a human skull on 13 June hung over the door in the building on the first floor of which their office is situated. Qayirzhanov says that it is a clear warning to his colleagues and himself. Last month the newspaper's publishing house was fully destroyed in a Molotov cocktail attack by unknown persons. Also last month, journalists from the newspaper "Delovoe Obozrenie Respublika" found a dog's head hung in their office window.

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