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Kazakhstan: Dissident Not Deported To Turkmenistan

Almaty, 7 October 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Kazakhstan has turned down a request by the Turkmen government to deport a Turkmen dissident back to Turkmenistan. Turkmen authorities were seeking the return of Gulgeldy Annaniyazov, 42, to Turkmenistan where he had already served a prison term for organizing a prodemocracy demonstration in 1995.

Annaniyazov was freed under intense international pressure in 1999 and fled to Kazakhstan. He attempted to travel to Russia last month using a false passport but was caught and returned to Kazakhstan.

Kazakh officials considered deporting Annaniyazov to Turkmenistan but were stopped by a wave of protests from human rights activists who said Annaniyazov could be tortured if he went back.

Kazakh authorities allowed United Nations officials to fly Annaniyazov to Norway.