06ASTANA3, LEADING KAZAKHSTANI POLITICAL COMMENTATOR DIES

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06ASTANA3 2006-10-06 13:08 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO2418
PP RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0003 2791308
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 061308Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7160
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY

UNCLAS ASTANA 000003 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR SCA/CEN - O'MARA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV KZ
SUBJECT: LEADING KAZAKHSTANI POLITICAL COMMENTATOR DIES 
 
REF: 05 ALMATY 3284 
 
1. (SBU) Nurbulat Masonov, a well-known political commentator and 
one of the founders of Kazakhstan's International Bureau for Human 
Rights and the Rule of Law, died suddenly on October 5.  Initial 
press reports indicate that Masonov died as a result of a severe 
reaction to a food allergen. Masonov (age 52 and asthmatic) fell ill 
soon after returning home from eating lunch at an Almaty restaurant. 
 As his condition quickly worsened, he experienced severe breathing 
problems and he died minutes after a doctor arrived at his home, 
without an oxygen bag, and attempted to treat him with an injection 
of an unidentified substance. 
 
2.  (SBU) According to Sergey Duvanov, a free lance journalist, 
director of the Polyton Discussion Club and close personal friend of 
Masonov, Masonov has suffered severe allergic reactions in the past. 
 As a result, he sees no reason to suspect foul play, but instead 
believes that the attending doctor was incompetent and inexperienced 
and likely did not provide the right treatment for Masonov's 
condition.  Masonov's family does not know what medicine the doctor 
provided him, as she took the ampule and syringe with her when she 
left   Duvanov also reported that eight doctors participated in the 
autopsy, performed on October 6, instead of the normal two or three. 
 The police ordered the autopsy filmed, to foreclose any speculation 
from the political opposition. 
 
3.  (SBU) Comment:  In addition to founding Kazakhstan's 
International Bureau for Human Rights, Masonov was a member of the 
Soros Foundation and a former general director of the Polyton 
Discussion Club.  In recent years, Masonov had muted his criticism 
of the government, culminating with his acceptance of a position 
created by the presidential administration and his support for 
Kazakhstan's OSCE chairmanship bid.  Given his health problems and 
weakened links to Kazakhstan's opposition, there is no reason to 
suspect foul play at this time.  End Comment. 
 
MILAS

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