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Prominent Kazakh Politician's Remains Exhumed In Moscow

Smagul Saduaqasov in an undated photograph
MOSCOW -- The ashes of one of the most prominent Kazakh political figures of the last century, Smagul Saduaqasov, were exhumed from a Moscow cemetery on January 20 for transfer and reburial in Kazakhstan, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Kazakh historian Dikhan Qamzabekuly, an initiator of the idea to rebury Saduaqasov on Kazakh soil, told RFE/RL that the ashes of Saduaqasov were extracted from the Don Cemetery in Moscow.

Officials from the Kazakh Embassy in Moscow, a delegation of Kazakh historians, representatives of Russia's Muslim Directorate, and Saduaqasov's relatives were present at the ceremony.

Saduaqasov (1900-1933) was one of the first leaders of Kazakhstan after the October Revolution and a prominent Kazakh journalist. There still has not been an exact explanation of his untimely death in 1933.

His wife, Elizaveta Bokeykhanova, was convinced until her death in 1971 that her husband was executed in a Soviet purge campaign.

Qamzabekuly said it is not clear where in Kazkahstan Saduaqasov's ashes will be reburied.

The spokesman of Kazakhstan's Religious Directorate, Onghar-Hajji Omirbek, told RFE/RL the reburial would be held in accordance with Islamic traditions. He added that cremation is unusual for Muslims.

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