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Kazakh Protesters Detained In Attempt To Meet President

Mortgage holders and investors are met by security forces in Almaty on March 15.
ASTANA -- Hundreds of Kazakh homeowners who came to Astana from all over Kazakhstan to complain to President Nursultan Nazarbaev about corruption in real estate have been detained, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

The demonstrators are mortgage holders and investors in apartment projects who complain they have been double-crossed by banks and developers.

The protesters said they planned to meet Nazarbaev in his capacity as the leading candidate in the April 3 presidential election to ask him about his personal plans and those of the government to save citizens from foreclosures.

Police prevented protesters from approaching administrative buildings in the capital. They were detained and driven away in police buses when they tried to march down streets in the city center. They were taken to the train station and sent on trains to their hometowns.

Six activists from the Almaty-based NGO Leave Peoples' Homes Alone, including its leader, Esenbek Okteshbaev, were charged with violating the law on public gatherings.

Read more in Kazakh here