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Kazakh Rally Protests Seizure Of Private Lands By State

ASTANA -- Dozens of people have rallied in the Kazakh capital, Astana, to protest the confiscation of private land by the government.

The May 21 rally was sanctioned by city authorities.

Protesters said local authorities routinely confiscate land from ordinary people, justifying the move by citing "state necessities."

The protesters said that in some cases, however, the confiscated lands were later used to build private homes for local authorities or businessmen.

The activists called on parliament to introduce a clause to the constitution that would protect the property rights of ordinary citizens.

During similar protests in Astana earlier this year, activists accused city authorities of not paying enough after seizing private land and demolishing homes in order to construct new buildings for Nazarbaev University and other state buildings in Astana.

That protest wasa not sanctioned and ended with arrests.
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