08ASTANA2233, KAZAKHSTAN: ALMATY NOTES, OCTOBER 27 – NOVEMBER 7

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08ASTANA2233 2008-11-10 11:30 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO7447
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW
RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHPOD RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSR
RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #2233/01 3151130
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 101130Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3799
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0795
RUCNCLS/SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0194
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0904
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 2042
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2028
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2362
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0359
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0276
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 0896

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 002233 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM SOCI KDEM KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN:  ALMATY NOTES, OCTOBER 27 - NOVEMBER 7 
 
ASTANA 00002233  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1.  The "Almaty Notes" series from U.S. Office Almaty focuses on 
developments in civil society, the media, and the opposition in 
Kazakhstan's "southern capital." 
 
UIGHUR INCIDENTS 
 
2.  According to an October 28 report of the International Human 
Rights Bureau NGO, two law enforcement officials recently dropped 
into a reception in honor of ethnic Uighur poet Mirzakhmet Merimov 
in the village of Chundja, in the Uighur rayon (district) of Almaty 
oblast.  The officials allegedly began reviewing Uighur literature 
that was on sale in the lobby of the venue where the event was 
taking place.  Attendees complained that there were no legal grounds 
for this "inspection."  While the incident ended peacefully, the 
actions of the officials "hurt the feelings of those present," 
claimed ethnic Uighur academician Alimzhan Tilivaldi.  He also 
detailed to the International Human Rights Bureau cases where the 
government is allegedly limiting the rights of ethnic Uighurs. 
Tilivaldi said that in 14 ethnic Uighur schools in Uighur rayon, 
school records are maintained in Kazakh, and that the rayon 
education department gave an order to remove Uighur signs from 
school facades.  According to Tilivaldi, last year the issue of 
renaming the rayon was raised, but the ethnic Uighur population came 
out strongly against this move.  He believes that local authorities 
are making serious mistakes that could incite inter-ethnic conflict. 
 
 
STUDENTS SEND APPEAL TO NAZARBAYEV 
 
3.  Opposition website www.zonakz.net reported on October 30 that 
approximately 9000 students from 10 universities in Almaty signed a 
letter to President Nazarbayev appealing for increased scholarships, 
more spaces in university dormitories, free education at state 
universities, and stable tuition at private ones.  The letter claims 
that there have been cases when students have been forced to vote 
for Nazarbayev's Nur Otan party. 
 
ETHNIC CHECHENS ALLEGE ABUSE BY KNB 
 
4.  At a press conference in Almaty on October 28, Serik Sarsenov 
and Nataliya Gutarova, two attorneys representing a group of 15 
ethnic Chechen youths, accused the National Security Committee (KNB) 
of subjecting their clients to "torture" to force them to confess to 
a serious crime.  According to the lawyers, on September 1, Almaty 
KNB officers detained the 15 youths on suspicion of 
"hooliganism."  The KNB was searching for two individuals who 
attacked a bank employee and her husband near their summer house in 
Karasay rayon of Almaty oblast.  The bank employee, who was 
four-months pregnant, and her husband were severely beaten and 
stabbed by two individuals.  She identified one of the 15 detained 
Chechen youths as one of the attackers.  The lawyers maintain that 
the KNB subjected all 15 to "torture" during questioning.   As a 
result of the interrogations, five were placed under arrest, and the 
remaining 10 were set free.  Several of those released were 
hospitalized due to their injuries.  Complaints about the incident 
have been addressed to the Ombudsman, Procurator General's Office, 
and the KNB.  The Ombudsman has not responded yet.  The Procurator 
General's Office and the KNB responded by maintaining that the 
allegations of "torture" have not been confirmed. 
 
5.  International Human Rights Bureau head Yevgeniy Zhovtis, who 
participated in the press conference, said that this case highlights 
general problems with the KNB.  He argued that the KNB does not have 
appropriate procedures in place for detaining suspects and holding 
them in detention. 
 
LIBEL CASE AGAINST OPPOSITION PAPER 
 
6.  The NGO Adil Soz reported that on October 23, the Almaty 
Economic Court began reviewing a libel case against the opposition 
newspaper "Taszhargan" and its owner which was filed by the Almaty 
oblast police.  The lawsuit claims that articles published by 
 
ASTANA 00002233  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
"Taszhargan" in April -- "Police Complain about Generals" and 
"Motley Personnel Saluted" -- were libelous.  The articles were 
based on a letter from a group of police officers complaining about 
abuse of authority by several senior police officials. 
 
HOAGLAND

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