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Kazakh Report: September 28, 1999


28 September 1999

CANDIDATE TO THE KAZAKH PARLIAMENT'S LOWER CHAMBER SAYS KAZAKH LAW ON ELECTION BEING VIOLATED.
Erkin Sultanbekov, an independent candidate to the Kazakh Parliament's Lower Chamber, held a press conference in Almaty on September 27, at which he said that the Kazakh Law on Elections had been violated during the pre-election campaign. According to Sultanbekov, some candidates to the Parliament are trying to "buy voters' support". He mentioned that many of the candidates are buying computers for local schools, and donating food and clothes for orphanages only "to get the local population's votes".

AZAMAT PARTY ACCUSED CIVIC PARTY OF SPENDING LARGE SUMS OF MONEY ON ITS PRE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN.
Leaders of the Azamat Party held a press conference on 27 September at which they said that the Civic Party of Kazakhstan, which is known to support President Nursultan Nazarbayev, has spent about $1 million on its pre-election campaign. According to Azamat Party leader Ghalym Abilseitov, the Civic Party is being sponsored by foreign investors. "But, - said Ghalym Abilseitov, � to use foreign funds for the election campaign is illegal".

INTERNATIONAL QAZAQ TILI FOUNDATION HELD SESSION IN ALMATY.
RFE/RL correspondents report that the International Qazaq Tili (Kazakh Language) Foundation held a session in Almaty on September 27, at which the foundation's leader, Abduali Khaidari, said that Kazakh philologists and linguists are preparing to introduce a draft of the Latin alphabet for the Kazakh language in the nearest future. According to Khaidari, several draft alphabets have been proposed by Kazakh experts. Khaidari criticized Russia's ORT TV channel for its reaction to the introduction by the Tatarstan Republic of the Latin alphabet for the Tatar language. A TV program with Sergey Dorenko, broadcast by the Russian Central TV channel on 26 September, said that "if the whole Russian Federation switched to the Latin alphabet, Tatarstan would decide to introduce Cyrillic," implying that Tatarstan's decision on reverting to the Latin alphabet used by Tatars in the 1920s was politically motivated.

REGISTRATION OF FOREIGNERS IN THE FORMER CAPITAL OF KAZAKHSTAN RESTRICTED.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report that on 27 September Almaty City officials started a campaign on toughening the registration of foreign residents in the former capital. The special campaign, called "Passport," is being carried out by the police officers in Almaty. All highways, rail road and bus stations and the airport are under strict control. The decision was officially explained as a measure to combat religious extremism and illegal immigration.

THREE FOREIGN CITIZENS AND ONE OFFICER OF THE KAZAKH NATIONAL SECURITY COMMITTEE WOUNDED LAST SUNDAY.
Correspondents of RFE/RL quote Almaty City's Interior Affairs Department as reporting that three foreign citizens, two Syrian nationals and one citizen of the United Arab Emirates, were wounded by Kazakh National Security Committee officers on 26 September during the operation to detain foreigners. One Kazakh National Security Committee officer was also wounded in the exchange of fire.

ETHNIC UYGHURS OF KAZAKHSTAN SEND OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT.
Organizations uniting the ethnic Uyghurs of Kazakhstan have sent an open letter to Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev asking him to "pay attention to the oppression of Uyghurs in East Turkistan", i.e. the Xin Jiang province of Western China. Sixteen ethnic Uyghurs were sentenced to death last week, say Kazakhstani Uyghurs. The leader of the Eastern Turkistani Revolutionary Front in Almaty, Yusufbek Mukhlisi, told RFE/RL journalists on 28 September that after the meeting of the "Shanghai Five" states in Bishkek in August, ethnic Uyghurs in Xin Jiang (Eastern Turkistan) started facing more oppressive measures carried out by the Chinese authorities. He also said that about 60 ethnic Uyghurs accused of anti-Chinese propaganda and activities were arrested in Xin Jiang by the Chinese authorities last week. The "Shanghai Five" comprises China and the four former Soviet Republics (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation and Tajikistan) that border on it.

6,000 PRISONERS RELEASED, AMONG THEM 700 WITH TUBERCULOSIS.
In accordance with the latest Amnesty decree, 6,000 prisoners have been released, among them 700 tuberculosis patients, an RFE/RL correspondent in Almaty reported on 27 September quoting the head of the Criminal Investigation Department at the Kazakh Interior Ministry. The prison terms of a further 300 convicts were reduced.

The latest Amnesty decree, signed by President Nursultan Nazarbayev on July 13 1999, provided for the release of 50,000 prisoners within six months. According to an RFE/RL correspondent in Almaty, in all 4,000 tubercular patients will be released. While some analysts say the amnesty will cause more unemployment, common citizens fear an upsurge of criminal activities. President Nazarbayev signed an earlier amnesty decree in 1996, after the adoption of the new Kazakh Constitution.

IN LATEST ATTEMPT OF SECURITY MEASURES ALMATY CITY OFFICIALS TO INTRODUCE A NEW RULE OF REGISTRATION FOR NEWCOMERS.
Almaty City officials are to introduce new rules of registration for newcomers. Almaty City Mayor Victor Khrapunov at a session of the City administration demanded quick security measures to prevent possible terror activities in the former Kazakh capital. According to Qalmuhammed Qasymov, chief of the Almaty City Department of the Kazakh Interior Ministry, 30-40 per cent of all criminal activities in the former capital are committed by persons who are not registered as residents of the city. An RFE/RL correspondent in Almaty quotes the official as saying that 1,794 criminals convicted in Almaty this year are non-Almaty citizens, and more than 100 of them are foreigners.

PENSIONERS CHOSE THEIR CANDIDATES AT THE ELECTIONS.
The "Pokolenie" movement, which represents pensioners, is engaged in choosing which candidates to endorse in the 10 October election to the lower chamber of the Kazakh parliament. "Pokoloneie" leader Irina Savostina invited five candidates to the Majlis to a meeting at the weekend. Those five included ORLEU movement leader Seydahmet Quttyqadam; Petr Svoik, one of the leaders of AZAMAT party; and Gany Qasymov, former chief of the Custom Committee and former Presidential candidate.

MORE FORGED DOLLARS SEIZED AS TENGE FALLS.
An RFE/RL correspondent in Almaty reported on 27 September that the tenge is losing in value. It traded in Almaty on 27 September at 143 tenge to US$1, compared with 137.5 tenge to the dollar last week. Some analysts are predicting that the tenge will fall to 200 per dollar by the end of the year. At the same time, officials say more forged US dollars are being seized since the April devaluation of the Tenge.

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