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Kazakhs Demand Creation Of Government Commission Over 'Wrongful' Court Decisions


Dauytbek Moldabaev speaks to a reporter in front of the presidential administration building in Nur-Sultan on February 24.

NUR-SULTAN -- Dozens of people from across Kazakhstan have gathered in front of the presidential office in Nur-Sultan to demand the creation of a government commission to deal with what they called wrongful court decisions against them.

The men and women, many of them visibly frustrated and angry, gathered at the site on February 24, preserving social distance to comply with coronavirus regulations.

One of the protesters, Dauytbek Moldabaev from the southern town of Qapshaghai, told RFE/RL that the group had officially asked the chief of the presidential office, Erlan Qoshanov, to meet with them but they didn't receive an answer.

Some of the protesters were allowed to enter the building one by one, where they were officially told that presidential administration's officials would not meet with them, as "there is no need for a government commission."

One of the protesters, Alia Aitpaeva, said after she was allowed inside the building that she was told the protesters could file complaints separately with the presidential administration if they wished to do so.

Some of the protesters said they will now turn to the European Parliament and Western governments for help.

The day before, a group of civil rights activists from various regions gathered in Nur-Sultan, where they said they would ask the European Parliament to impose personal sanctions against the leadership of the ruling Nur-Otan party and other top officials for what they called the "refusal to deal with wrongful court decisions."

On February 11, European lawmakers adopted a resolution on the human rights situation in Kazakhstan that expressed concern over the "deterioration in the general situation of human rights and a crackdown on civil society organizations in Kazakhstan."

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