17 January 2002
KAZAKHSTAN'S DEMOCRATIC CHOICE MOVEMENT HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE
Leaders of the movement Democratic Choice for Kazakhstan (DVK) held a press conference in Almaty on 17 January at which they announced that Kazakhstan's Justice Ministry officially registered the movement on January 8. They also said the movement will convene a mass gathering in Lenin Square on the outskirts of Almaty on January 27. They argued that Kazakhstan should amend its election law and that the parliament should be granted more rights.
Meanwhile leaders of the All-Union Party of Bolsheviks and Almaty's Workers Movement criticized DVK at a separate gathering on 17 January. According to Otegen Qabaziyev, who is the leader of All-Union Party of Bolsheviks' branch in Almaty, DVK members are former top officials of Kazakhstan, who are responsible for "placing the country in such a drastic situation."
KAZAKH PARLIAMENT AMENDS LAW ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOMS
On January 17, the Mazhilis (the lower chamber of Kazakhstan's parliament) adopted amendments to the law on religious freedoms. The amendments stipulate that any missionary organization working in Kazakhstan should register on the day its representatives arrive in the country. During the discussions it was disclosed that the law was amended due to the internal political situation in Kazakhstan and that on the international arena. Deputies noted that the situation has changed since September 11 and the need to impose strict control over all religious organizations working in Kazakhstan has increased.