Kazakhs Protest Against Foreign Ownership Of Land
Several hundred protesters gathered in Almaty on April 24 for an unsanctioned rally to oppose a draft law on land ownership that they say poses a threat to Kazakh sovereignty and national security. According to RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service, the event was organized by the unregistered Democratic Party. Protesters called on the parliament to stop considering amendments to the land ownership legislation that would enable long-term leasing by foreign entities. Opponents fear the amendments would open the door to land ownership for local oligarchs as well as further increase Chinese influence in the country. A strong police presence prevented protesters from marching through the city.