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Kazakhstan: Language Demonstration in Almaty

Almaty, 26 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Demonstrators gathered at the Parliament building in Almaty to protest a draft law on language. Under the draft law, Russian would have the same status as Kazakh.

Kazakhstan's large ethnic Russian population has said the new law will still allow discrimination, while Kazakh nationalists are protesting the proposed status of Russian as an official langugage.

Several prominent Kazakh writers, scholars and politicians participated in today's demonstration against adopting the draft law. A RFE/RL correspondent at the demonstration reports parliamentary leaders answered questions from the protestors, received their written demands and pledged to take their criticism into consideration. The demonstration, which was approved by Almaty authorities, ended at the designated time.