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Kazakhstan: Opposition Groups Plan Demonstration

Prague, 4 July 1997 (RFE/RL) - Leaders of Kazakh opposition movements say they will hold a demonstration tomorrow in the capital of Almaty if the chairman of the City's Workers Movement is not released from jail.

The group made the comment to reporters yesterday in Almaty.

Our correspondent reports that Madel Ismailov was arrested on May 30 while protesting in front of the Kazakh parliament building. He was charged with "organizing an action which could cause mass unrest." The demonstration was organized to demand payment of overdue pensions and salaries.

The Almaty Mayor's office has reportedly refused giving permission for tomorrow's planned demonstration. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev went on television and radio earlier this week and appealed to pensioners not to participate in new protests. The government has promised to pay all pension arrears by the end of this year.