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Kazakh Report: November 12, 2002


12 November 2002

POLICE DETAIN SERGEY DUVANOV'S SUPPORTERS IN ALMATY
Almaty police detained about a dozen supporters of arrested independent journalist Sergey Duvanov in front of Almaty's Abay Opera and Ballet Theater during the morning of 12 November. The supporters, mainly fellow journalists and members of the Republican People's Party of Kazakhstan, were carrying umbrellas with Sergey Duvanov's name written on them. The leader of the NGO "Journalists in Trouble," Rozlana Taukina, told RFE/RL that Duvanov's supporters have changed their tactics due to numerous detentions and arrests made by Almaty city police in the last several days. Now Duvanov's supporters do not organize pickets or mass actions of protests, they just carry umbrellas with Duvanov's name written on them and do not utter a word, Taukina told RFE/RL. She added that in the last several days five mass gatherings in support of Duvanov have been organized and 40 supporters of Duvanov had been detained by police, of whom three persons were sentenced to 2-4 days of jail, and twelve were fined.

Police refused to comment on their actions to RFE/RL correspondents who witnessed the 12 November detentions. Zhemis Turmaghambetova, who is Vice-Chairwoman of the Kazakh Bureau on Human Rights, told RFE/RL that she still believes Duvanov's case was fabricated by Kazakh authorities and expressed her pity that parents of the underage girl, who was allegedly raped by Duvanov, did not try "to think about their child's future."

Ramazan Esergepov, editor of the weekly "Nachnem s Ponedel'nika," told RFE/RL that all the activities of Almaty regional police look very suspicious and nonprofessional, which makes people think that the whole affair was politically motivated. He also said that the Kazakh authorities should make all the investigations of the case and the trial itself transparent and open in order to show Kazakhstan's citizens and the whole world that it was an ordinary crime, if that in fact was the case.

LEADERS OF KAZAKHSTAN FORUM OF DEMOCRATIC FORCES SEND LETTER TO THE DUTCH EMBASSY IN ALMATY
The chairman of the Republican People's Party of Kazakhstan's Executive Committee, Amirzhan Qosanov, told RFE/RL on 12 November that the so-called Forum of Democratic Forces of Kazakhstan, which unites several opposition parties and political movements, has written to the Dutch Embassy in Almaty, urging Dutch officials not to allow President Nursultan Nazarbayev to visit Holland later this month. President Nazarbayev is scheduled to pay an official visit to the Netherlands soon. According to leaders and activists of the Forum, Nazarbayev has no right to visit any democratic country due to his domestic policy, which was described by the authors of the letter as "anti-democratic." Qosanov added that it is very unlikely that the letter will affect the Dutch officials' decision.

BRITISH PARLIAMENT DELEGATION OF VISITS ASTANA
A British parliamentary delegation arrived in Astana on November 12 and held talks with President Nazarbayev. It was reported at press conference afterwards that the talks focussed on the further development of Kazakh-British economic, trade and inter-parliamentary ties. Economic reforms and democratic processes were also discussed.

SECOND FORUM OF KAZAKHSTANI YOUTH HELD IN ASTANA
Over 350 delegates from different youth organizations from all over the country gathered in Astana pn 12 November to participate in the Second Forum of Kazakhstan's Youth. It was decided that an organization uniting young citizens of Kazakhstan should be established soon. The name of the organization will be Congress of Kazakhstani Youth. The Forum will elect the Chairman of the future organization. President Nazarbayev is expected to attend the Forum on November 13.

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