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Kazakh Police Disperse Dozens At Rally In Aqtau


Police in Kazakhstan's Caspian port city of Aqtau have dispersed protesters rallying against the government's decision to allow private land ownership.

Dozens gathered in downtown Aqtau on April 28 to protest the government's decision to auction off public land to private owners beginning on July 1.

After the protesters started publicly criticizing President Nursultan Nazarbaev, police interfered and forced the protesters to leave the site.

The protest took place hours after Kazakh Prosecutor-General Zhaqip Asanov issued a warning that it is a crime to spread "false information about land privatization."

On April 27, hundreds of people rallied in Kazakhstan's northwestern city of Aqtobe and the northeastern city of Semei to protest against land privatization.

And on April 24, at least 1,000 residents of the western city of Atyrau protested against the plan.

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    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

    RFE/RL's Radio Azattyq has been an important source of information for people in Kazakhstan for decades. In 2009, Azattyq won the prestigious 2009 Online Journalism Award for "standing in defense of citizen’s rights to seek and receive information."

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