07ASTANA1129, KAZAKHSTAN: ALMATY NOTES, APRIL 2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA1129 2007-04-27 10:32 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO9340
RR RUEHAST RUEHDBU
DE RUEHTA #1129/01 1171032
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271032Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9282
INFO RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1723
RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK 7971
RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT 7891
RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT 7154
RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 2104
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1403
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2199

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 001129 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: ALMATY NOTES, APRIL 2007 
 
Ref: A. Astana 1033, B. Astana 834, C. Astana 691 
 
1. The "Almaty Notes" series is intended to maintain focus on 
developments in civil society, the media, and the opposition in 
Kazakhstan's "southern capital" following the move of the Embassy to 
Astana. 
 
Journalist Still Missing 
------------------------ 
 
2. Journalist Oralgaysha Zhabagtaykyzy, last seen March 30 in Almaty 
(Ref A), remains missing.  Zhabagtaykyzy's relatives believe that 
her disappearance is related to her articles for the "Zakon I 
Pravosudiye" (Law and Justice) independent weekly.  The two 
articles, entitled "What are the Links between the Murder of an 
Invalid and the Embezzlement in KazakhMys Corporation?" and "Bloody 
Arbitrariness, or Who is Behind the 'Makhnovtsy' Brothers" were 
published on March 7 and March 26 respectively.  In her first 
article, the journalist wrote about a resident of Dzhezkazgan City, 
Sagit Shakputov, who reportedly was killed by a hit man, Vita 
Makhmakhanov.  Someone allegedly hired the killer to conceal 
embezzlement in the KazakhMys Corporation.  The second article was 
about the Kazatkom conflict.  Zhabagtaykyzy and her colleague Mukhit 
Iskakov traveled to Almaty from Astana on March 29 to collect 
additional information about the Kazatkom conflict for another 
article. 
 
3. On April 18 a group of Mazhilis deputies sent a request to the 
Procurator General, National Security Committee and Interior 
Ministry asking them to ensure special control over the 
investigation into the case of the missing journalist.  (Interfax, 
April 18) 
 
Aliyev Versus Nurbank Managers 
------------------------------ 
 
4. The case of former Nurbank chairman Abilmazhin Gilimov (Refs B 
and C) has been passed to the Medeu district court in Almaty, the 
Vremya weekly reported on April 12.  Gilimov has reportedly been 
accused of inciting and organizing the March 31 attack on Nurbank's 
office.  The officers of the special police squad who participated 
in the attack have been charged with abuse of power.  President 
Nazarbayev's son-in-law Rakhat Aliyev is the main shareholder of the 
bank. 
 
5. The Medeu district court also continues to examine the libel 
lawsuits filed by Rakhat Aliyev against the wives of the Nurbank 
former managers, Armangul Kapasheva and Nadira Bazarbayeva.  In 
early February, Kapasheva and Bazarbayeva accused Aliyev of 
"depriving their husbands of freedom."  In response, Aliyev filed 
libel lawsuits against them.  Recently there have been rumors about 
possible reconciliation between the parties.  However, Mrs. 
Kapasheva has not confirmed the reconciliation.  The last court 
hearing on April 18 did not take place because witnesses from both 
parties failed to appear in the court.  (www.zonakz.net, April 19) 
 
Alga Party's Problems with Registration 
--------------------------------------- 
 
6. In an attempt to attract public attention to its problems with 
registration, in late March in every region of the country the Alga 
party filed applications to demonstrate on April 12 in front of the 
local offices of the Ministry of Justice.  Out of 17 applications, 
10 were denied and seven received no response.  Alga then decided to 
organize public events on April 12 to hand over petitions instead. 
However, on the eve of the event in some regions, including 
Shymkent, Kzylorda, Taraz, Aktobe and Petropavlovsk, local 
procurators visited the Alga offices to serve the party with 
warnings against the actions.  Alga nevertheless went through with 
the planned events   In Almaty and Astana cities the events went 
peacefully, but in other regions they were disrupted by the local 
authorities.  In the cities of Petropavlovsk, Kostanay and Rudniy 
nine Alga activists in all were fined for organizing the 
unsanctioned actions.  (Alga party press releases, April 12 and 18) 
 
7. Alga filed its most recent application for registration on 
November 9, 2006.  According to the Law on Political Parties, the 
Ministry of Justice was supposed to make a decision within one 
month.  On March 8, the MOJ's Registration Committee suspended the 
registration process in order to check the submitted documents. 
Since then the registration has remained suspended.  (Alga party 
press release, April 12) 
 
Almaty Residents Protest Intensive Construction 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
ASTANA 00001129  002 OF 002 
 
 
 
8. The city administration has denied Almaty city residents' request 
to hold a rally in the center of the city, the head of the 
committee, "Let's Defend Our City", Dametken Alenova, told a press 
conference in Almaty on April 10.  The city administration offered 
the outskirts of the city for the rally, but the organizers of the 
rally rejected the offer and have filed a new request for a rally in 
the center of the city on April 29.  The Let's Defend Our City 
Committee opposes the demolition c
ampaign and what they perceive as 
overly intensive construction in Almaty.  (Kazakhstan Today news 
agency, April 10) 
 
Women Object to Eviction from Dormitory 
--------------------------------------- 
 
9. On April 11 about 30 women, tenants of the Architecture Academy 
dormitory in Almaty, picketed the city administration office.  They 
were protesting against the eviction of their families from the 
dormitory.  The deputy city akim received the women, but denied 
their right to stay in the dormitory.  The women threatened to 
picket the Eurasia Media Forum and to seek asylum in other 
countries. 
 
10. A month ago, court bailiffs attempted to evict forty families 
from the dormitory belonging to the academy.  The tenants opposed 
the eviction and on April 4 announced a hunger strike.  The tenants 
maintained they had been living in the building for many years and 
had the right to privatize their living quarters.  (Channel-31, 
April 11) 
 
Draft Bill on Opposition Activities 
----------------------------------- 
 
11. The National Social Democratic Party of Kazakhstan organized on 
April 12 in Almaty a round table discussion of its draft bill on 
opposition activities.  The draft bill provides for guarantees that 
opposition parties will have representatives on election commissions 
and that opposition factions' representatives in Parliament shall 
chair at least a third of parliamentary committees.  According to 
the bill, if there is a block of opposition parties in Parliament, 
it will be allowed to nominate the deputy speaker of each house. 
Some participants expressed doubts that Parliament would accept the 
bill for consideration and support it.  (Press release, April 12) 
 
Self-Mutilation in Corrective Facility 
-------------------------------------- 
 
12. On April 15 in the high security facility in Zarechnaya, Almaty 
Oblast, 70 inmates slashed their stomachs and wrists to protest 
conditions in the facility.  Twelve inmates were hospitalized. 
Criminal cases have been filed against the participants of the 
action, a representative of the oblast prosecutor's office reported. 
 Recent amendments to the Criminal Code provide for 7 to 10 years 
imprisonment for those who participate in self-mutilation and 
disobedience actions.  (Interfax news agency, April 15 and 20) 
 
Police Officers Involved in Brawl Arrested 
------------------------------------------ 
 
13. In Almaty three former policemen who participated in a fight 
with local residents in the Bodrym caf have been arrested, the 
deputy head of the Almaty police told the Kazakhstan news agency on 
April 14.  During the March 25 conflict in the caf the former 
policemen killed a visitor and harshly beat two others.  A probe 
into the case is underway. 
 
ORDWAY

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