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Leading IT Specialist In Kazakhstan In Trouble Over Controversial Facebook Comment


A leading IT expert in Kazakhstan is in hot water over comments he made on Facebook about several cases of the alleged rape of young boys in South Kazakhstan Province.

Konstantin Gorozhankin has been expelled from the board of directors of state Internet conglomerate Qazcontent and police are investigating his comments, Qazcontent chairman Yevgeny Kochetov said on August 9.

"It is about genes," Gorozhankin, a Kazakh citizen of Russian origin who had been an independent member of the board, wrote earlier this week in a Facebook discussion of the alleged rape cases.

"Travelers to Kazakhstan in the 19th century often mentioned in their diaries about bestiality and homosexuality among the local population," he wrote.

According to Kochetov, Almaty police opened an investigation into Gorozhankin's post following a request from the Information Ministry, which said it may have violated a law against inciting ethnic hatred.

Kochetov wrote on Facebook earlier that Gorozhankin's post does not represent Qazcontent's official opinion.

Gorozhankin offered apologies in a statement on Facebook on August 9, saying he did not want to offend anyone.

In recent years, dozens of people have been convicted of "inciting social, ethnic, or religious hatred online," in accordance with the Article 174 of Kazakhstan’s Criminal Code.

Rights activists say the authorities often use the statute to clamp down on dissent.

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