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Kazakh Opposition Says Leaders' Travel Blocked

Bulat Abilov pictured voting in presidential elections in December 2005 (RFE/RL) PRAGUE, April 26, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Two of Kazakhstan's most prominent opposition leaders today accused the government of preventing them from traveling to Europe and of obstructing their political activities.

Galymzhan Zhaqiyanov and Bulat Abilov said the government's actions recalled steps taken against dissidents in the Soviet era.

Both men had been due to meet EU officials this week, but Zhaqiyanov was barred from boarding a flight on April 24, while Abilov found that an unexpected lawsuit had been brought against him. He says the case is fabricated.

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