07ASTANA1246, KAZAKHSTAN: ALMATY NOTES, APRIL – MAY 2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA1246 2007-05-10 01:13 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO0693
RR RUEHAST RUEHDBU
DE RUEHTA #1246/01 1300113
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 100113Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9403
INFO RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1734
RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK 7985
RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT 7904
RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT 7158
RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 2111
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1407
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2203

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 001246 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: ALMATY NOTES, APRIL - MAY 2007 
 
 
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. 
 
President Meets with Moderate Opposition Leaders 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
2. On April 23 in Almaty, President Nazarbayev met with opposition 
leaders Alikhan Baymenov and Zharmakhan Tuyakbay.  At the meeting 
with Baymenov they discussed urgent problems of political 
development of the country, humanitarian and cultural issues 
including the development of Kazakh language, and patriotic 
upbringing of the young generation.  At the meeting with Tuyakbay 
they discussed constitutional reforms.  According to a National 
Social-Democratic Party press release, Tuyakbay called the 
president's attention to violations of the law during the recent 
formation of  Almaty City election commissions.  Tuyakbay also 
reportedly stressed the necessity of a dialogue between the 
authorities and opposition parties and public organizations. 
(Interfax, April 23) 
 
Attempt to Picket City Court Disrupted 
-------------------------------------- 
 
3. On April 19, the mothers and wives of eight "Shanyrak Defenders" 
kept in detention attempted to picket the Almaty City Court 
building.  The women demanded that their husbands and sons be 
released and the criminal cases against them be dismissed.  The 
police disrupted the action.  Two participants were detained. 
(Megapolis weekly, April 23) 
 
'Victims' in Abilov's Case did not Appear in Court 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
4. The May 3 hearing of Bulat Abilov's case at the Almalinskiy 
district court in Almaty was disrupted because the 'victims' in the 
case failed to appear in the court.  (Nachnyem s Ponedelnika weekly, 
May 4) 
 
Concerns about Overly Intensive Construction in Almaty 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
 
5. At a meeting with prominent businessmen in Almaty on April 21, 
President Nazarbayev recommended ending intensive construction in 
Almaty because the city infrastructure cannot support such 
development and it is hazardous for the  environment.  (Vremya 
daily, April 24) 
 
6. On April 24, Prime Minister Masimov directed Almaty Oblast and 
City akims to terminate land sales in the region until there is a 
special order.  "It is not a secret that some companies purchase 
lands at the cadastre [tax assessment] cost and then sell it at 
market cost," Masimov said.  Due to this, Masimov ordered that "all 
commercial lands in Almaty City and Almaty Oblast should be passed 
to the 'Zhetysu' special corporation.  The money this corporation 
will earn should used to develop utility services and 
infrastructure."  (www.gazeta.kz, April 24) 
 
7. The Almaty City administration plans to demolish a unique seismic 
station located in the mountains close to the city.  In place of the 
station the administration intends to build a net of cafes and 
restaurants.  (www.geo.kz, April 24) 
 
NGO Calls on President to Dismiss Almaty City Akim 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
8. Activists of the "Let Us Defend our City" committee held a press 
conference on April 24 in Almaty to brief journalists about  the 
city administration's refusal to grant them a permit to hold a rally 
in the center of the city.  According to the activists, Almaty City 
Akim Tasmagambetov has ignored the president's and prime minister's 
orders to put an end to construction in Almaty.  "By doing this, 
Tasmagambetov creates a dangerous situation in the southern 
capital," the committee's statement reads.  The statement calls on 
the president to dismiss Akim Tasmagambetov.  (www.gazeta.kz, April 
24) 
 
State Secretary Met with Ethnic Minority Leaders 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
9. During a visit to Almaty Oblast, State Secretary Oralbay 
Abdykarimov met with leaders of ethnic minorities to talk about 
interethnic accord.  (Kazakhstan TV channel, April 25) 
 
 
ASTANA 00001246  002 OF 002 
 
 
Preparations for Maslikhat Elections 
------------------------------------ 
 
10. The Central Election Commission has opened the first training 
center in Almaty for e-voting machine operators.  As part of 
preparations to September elections to Maslikhats, more than half of 
the city precinct election commissions are slated to be equipped 
with e-voting machines.   (TV Channel-31, April 25) 
 
Aynur Kurmanov will not be arrested 
----------------------------------- 
 
11. On April 23 the city court of Almaty rejected a motion filed by 
the Bostandyk district procurator who asked the court to arrest 
Aynur Kurmanov for organizing unsa
nctioned picketing of the 
"Almatyzher" office on March 30.  Kurmanov had been fined for this 
action, but the procurator found this punishment too light. 
(www.incar.info, April 23) 
 
MILAS

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