07ASTANA3303, KAZAKHSTAN: ALMATY NOTES, NOVEMBER 26 – DECEMBER 7, 2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA3303 2007-12-12 11:49 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO9821
RR RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #3303/01 3461149
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 121149Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1350
INFO RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1847
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0334
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 0047

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 003303 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KDEM KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: ALMATY NOTES, NOVEMBER 26 - DECEMBER 7, 2007 
 
 
ASTANA 00003303  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
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. 
 
----------------------------- --------------------------------- 
Kazakh Nationalists Are Against Formation of Kazakhstani Nation 
----------------------------- --------------------------------- 
 
2. At a round table in Almaty on December 4, a group of Kazakh 
nationalists spoke out against a recent proposal by President 
Nazarbayev to support tri-lingualism (Kazakh, Russian, and English) 
and promote the idea of a broader "Kazakhstani" nation.  According 
to these representatives of the Kazakh intelligentsia, this is a 
hastily-conceived and wrong idea and putting it into practice could 
lead to irreversible consequences.  Burikhan Nurmukhamedov of the Ak 
Zhol party contended that national self-identification is important 
for ethnic Kazakhs and a failure to take this factor into account 
may worsen inter-ethnic relations.  (TV Channel 31, December 4) 
 
--------------------------- ------------------------- 
Utkin Loses His Case against City Election Commission 
--------------------------- ------------------------- 
 
3. On November 23 the Almaty city court ruled for the city election 
commission in a case filed by independent Maslikhat candidate Sergey 
Utkin.  Utkin challenged his loss to Nur Otan candidate Serik 
Kusainov in the August 18 election to the Almaty Maslikhat.  Utkin 
provided the court with protocols from polling stations which he 
said confirmed his victory.  At an earlier hearing in the Bostandyk 
district court, all members of precinct election commission number 
184 testified that Utkin's protocols were accurate, casting doubt on 
the accuracy of the protocols produced by the city election 
commission.  However, an examination conducted by city court experts 
reportedly confirmed that signatures on the city election 
commission's protocols were authentic.  (Respublica weekly, November 
30) 
 
------------------------- --------------------- 
NGO's Urge Transparency in Mazhilis' Activities 
------------------------- --------------------- 
 
4. At a round table in Almaty on November 27, a number of NGO's, 
including the Human Rights Bureau, Adil Soz, the Charter for Human 
Rights, and Almaty Helsinki Committee, announced their intention to 
set up an NGO coalition to promote transparency of the Mazhilis' 
activities and to provide public oversight over the work of 
parliamentarians.  Mazhilis deputy Nikolay Turetskiy admitted that 
there was no mechanism for the publication of roll-call voting in 
parliament and no mechanism for keeping parliamentarians properly 
accountable before the electorate.  Tamara Kaleyeva of AdilSoz 
complained that parliament does not put texts of draft laws on its 
web site and provides no information on the reasons a draft law is 
rejected.  "There is no feedback and there are no e-mail addresses. 
It is impossible to reach any deputy through the web site," Kaleyeva 
said.  Evgeniy Zhovtis contended that Parliament needs to pass a law 
on access to information which would further cooperation between 
state agencies and citizens and would make officials accountable for 
not providing information. (Interfax, November 27) 
 
-------------- ------------- 
Reasons for Political Apathy 
-------------- ------------- 
 
5. "The main reason for apathy is that people do not believe they 
can change anything in the country through their actions," True Ak 
Zhol party co-chairman Oraz Zhandosov opined in an interview with 
Dozhiveym do Ponedelinka.  "It is an interesting question why people 
do not go to rallies and do not protest against inflation and 
against the government's inaction in curbing soaring prices.  These 
people are used to the practice we had in the Soviet Union when 
nothing depended on public opinion".  (Dozhiveym do Ponedelinka 
weekly, November 30) 
 
-------------------------- ---------------------------- 
NGO's and Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative 
-------------------------- ---------------------------- 
 
6. At a conference in Almaty on November 27 entitled "Oil Revenues - 
Under Control of Society," a coalition of NGO's proposed revisions 
in Kazakhstan's Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative 
(EITI).  The coalition would like to enlarge its delegation in the 
National Council, which is composed representatives of extractive 
industry companies, the government, parliament, and NGO's.  In 
addition, the coalition proposes to make National Council meetings 
more transparent by placing announcements in the press and reporting 
about its activities in the mass media.  (Interfax, November 27) 
 
------------------------ ------------------- 
Allegation of Violation of Detainees' Rights 
------------------------ ------------------- 
 
ASTANA 00003303  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
 
7. On November 26, the Human Rights Bureau issued a
 statement 
calling on the Almaty office of the Committee for National Security 
(KNB) to stop violating the rights of detained individuals, 
especially the right to an attorney.  According to the Bureau, 
Rishat Musayev and Sergey Tsoy have been kept in Almaty KNB 
pre-trial detention centers since July 9 with no access to their 
chosen attorneys.  Despite agreements the attorneys signed with the 
two detainees and the fact that they have state secret clearances, 
the attorneys have been denied meetings with their clients. 
Instead, the KNB invited other attorneys recommended by 
investigators to meet with the detainees. 
 
ORDWAY

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