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130 results found
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Kazakhstan

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

Russian President Putin and Nazarbayev met 30 Sept in Atyrau (Kazakhstan) to discuss inter-regional cooperation following late-Aug tensions after Putin insinuated that, prior to Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan had no statehood. Kazakh FM Erlan Idrisov 22 Sept met U.S. Sec State John Kerry, discussed counter-terrorism, post-election period in Afghanistan.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

President Nazarbayev 6 Aug announced govt reshuffle, reduction of ministries from 17 to 12, creation of super-sized Energy Ministry. Nazarbayev 13 Aug discussed with Russian President Putin and Belarussian President Lukashenko Russia’s sanctions on goods from EU, U.S., Canada and Norway; authorities 13 Aug announced after Kazakhstan will not take part in sanctions. Uzbek-Kazakh clashes erupted 27 Aug in Madani village, south; Interior Minister Qasymov 29 Aug said clashes not ethnic.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Kazakh air force 10 July conducted large-scale military exercises along Kazakh-Chinese border. 4 sentenced 22 July to 6-12 years prison for recruiting fighters for Syria’s rebel army. Same sentence for similar charges pronounced 21 July in Shymkent against a group of four.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Kazakh FM Erlan Idrissov 16 June said no evidence Kazakh citizens fighting alongside separatists in Ukraine; local initiatives to support civilian populations in SE Ukraine shut down by govt early June.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

President Nazarbayev 7 May met U.S. Deputy Sec State William Burns instead of attending Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) meeting in Moscow as scheduled. Kazakh Senate 15 May ratified agreement with Russia to create unified regional air defence system. Nazarbayev 19-22 May visited China, discussed bilateral cooperation. Founding treaty of Eurasian Economic Union (EES) signed by Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus 29 May in Astana, due to come into force 1 Jan 2015; dozens of protesters demonstrating against EES arrested 29 May in Astana.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Amid anxiety over relations with Russia and potential economic impact of Russia-West split, Karim Massimov, PM from 2007-2012, reappointed 2 April. Oil and gas minister 7 April publicly discussed options to divert oil export routes from Russia towards China, Iran or through Azerbaijan, Georgia. Military early April conducted drills in NE and near Almaty. Rights groups criticised wide ranging changes to criminal code, including death penalty for terrorism, jail terms for unregistered NGOs and religious organisations, decree restricting press freedom in case of state of emergency.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Amid uncertainty over regional response to Russian actions in Ukraine, President Nazarbayev fielded series of phone calls with U.S., Russian, German, UK leaders 10-14 March. Foreign ministry initially voiced respect for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and international law, but govt 18 March recognised as legitimate results of 16 March referendum in Crimea, regarded Russian actions “with understanding”. EU decided to discontinue post of Special Representative for Central Asia as of 28 Feb.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

National bank 11 Feb unexpectedly devalued currency 19%, prompting series of small protests with some arrests, panic buying, run on 3 banks, expectations of price increases. Move generated much public criticism; govt blocked internet petition calling for President Nazarbayev to resign. Column of military vehicles including armoured personal carriers appeared in Almaty 13 Feb; defence ministry said it was test drive. SMS messaging services and apps unavailable same day, observers speculated test of blocking equipment. In 13 Feb media interview Nazarbayev did not rule out seeking presidency again in 2016. In parliament 14 Feb Nazarbayev defended currency devaluation, ordered govt to monitor and control prices for consumer goods and exchange bureaus; threatened to dismiss govt if they fail to attract foreign investment; said pensions and student stipends will be increased by 14% and 10% as of April; also called on 3 major firms to increase salaries 10%.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

French court 9 Jan approved extradition of fugitive Kazakh banker and opposition figure Mukhtar Ablyazov to Russia or Ukraine; Ablyzov, accused of embezzling $6bn from BTA Bank, said accusations politically motivated. Human Rights Watch 9 Jan warned Ablyazov “at serious risk of ill-treatment”, likely to be denied fair trial if returned to Kazakhstan. FM 20 Jan said Kazakhstan to step up financial, political commitments to Afghanistan to counter security threats after withdrawal of NATO troops.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Govt expressed concern over Kazakh citizens fighting alongside Syrian rebels following Oct release of video purporting to show 150 Kazakh jihadists in Syria. President Nazarbayev 1 Nov met Russian President Putin in Astana, signed cooperation treaty.    

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

President Nazarbayev 16 Oct appointed longstanding ally and former director-general of UN Geneva office Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as Senate chairman, sparking discussion on Nazarbayev’s still undisclosed succession plan. Nazarbayev 2 Oct approved new counter-terrorism strategy, focused on domestic prevention.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

During 6-8 Sept visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping, countries signed agreements worth $30bn, including Chinese purchase of 8.4% stake in Kashagan oil field. Almaty court suspended 2 independent newspapers.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Aug 2013

Unchanged

During UK PM Cameron’s visit to Kazakhstan, first ever visit by serving UK PM, leaders 1 July signed partnership agreement. Amnesty International accused govt of concealing evidence of police torture of prisoners, called for independent international investigation into Dec 2011 violence in Janaozen. Opposition politician and activist arrested ahead of opposition meeting 12 July.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Jul 2013

Unchanged

President Nazarbayev visited Uzbekistan mid-June, issued call with Uzbek President Karimov for dialogue and agreement over upstream hydropower projects in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.


Kazakhstan

  |  1 Jun 2013

Unchanged

Aqtobe city court sentenced 2 men to jail for religious extremism, illegal weapon possession. Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan opened new railway connection between countries. Authorities freed 6 men convicted for role in Dec 2011 Janaozen unrest.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 May 2013

Unchanged

Almaty 5-7 April hosted fresh round of international talks on Iranian nuclear program. European Parliament adopted resolution criticising Kazakh govt for failure to respect political, media, religious freedoms, called for release of Algha party leader.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Apr 2013

Unchanged

General Prosecutor proposed new police unit to deal with public unrest; citing Dec 2011 unrest in Janaozen, said police unprepared to protect citizens or themselves. Amid dispute with Russia over gas price, oil and gas minister 7 March said Kazakh gas could be redirected to China if pricing agreement with Russia not reached.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Mar 2013

Unchanged

Kazakhstan 30 Jan signed common regional air defence system with Russia, includes missile defence; also continued expanding cooperation with NATO member states, signing transit agreement with Italy 19 Feb. Hosted international nuclear talks with Iran late Feb.

Kazakhstan

  |  30 Dec 2012

Unchanged

Following Nov closures of opposition media, opposition website guljan.org suspended, independent TV channel StanTV and opposition TV channel K-Plus banned along with associated websites and print publications; ongoing lawsuits put further media outlets under threat. Rights activist who filed lawsuits on behalf of citizens claiming police abuse during Dec 2011 unrest in Janaozen jailed 7 Dec for 12 days for hooliganism, resisting arrest. Opposition activists gathered in several cities 16 Dec to mark anniversary of police killings of protesters. Activist Vadim Kuramshin jailed for 12 years 8 Dec for extorting bribe; rights groups condemned case as politically motivated. Vladislav Chelakh, border guard accused of killing 15 people in May on Kazakh-Chinese border, found guilty of murder, sentenced to life in prison 11 Dec.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Dec 2012

Unchanged

State prosecutors 21 Nov filed applications to ban 2 opposition movements and close around 40 media outlets for “propagating extremism”, citing links to Oct jailing of opposition Alga leader Vladimir Kozlov. Almaty court subsequently banned 3 opposition newspapers and suspended Alga party. Court in southern city Qyzylorda sentenced Amangeldy Aitkulov, former deputy governor of western region Manghystau, to 12 years’ jail for abuse of office, bribe-taking; Aitkulov arrested in connection with Dec 2011 violence in Janaozen. Trial began of Vladislav Chelakh, border guard accused of killing 15 people in May on Kazakh-Chinese border. UNGA 12 Nov elected Kazakhstan to UN Human Rights Council, despite opposition from rights groups.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Nov 2012

Unchanged

3 opposition activists including opposition party leader Vladimir Kozlov convicted 8 Oct of forming illegal group, seeking to overthrow govt, inciting social hatred. Charges linked to oil workers strike which led to Dec 2011 violence in Janaozen; Kozlov jailed for 7.5 years. U.S. expressed muted “concern” over apparently politically-motivated case. Witness in case related to Janaozen violence who testified that investigators had tortured him found dead 15 Oct. Court in western city Atyrau 10 Oct jailed local man for 10 years for terrorist activities, illegal arms possession; court in Aqtobe 23 Oct jailed 3 for plotting to blow up police station, creating terrorist group. Sole survivor of June police special operation in Aqtobe jailed for 12 years for terrorism, murder. Al-Qaeda-linked website 15 Oct announced Tunisian leader of Kazakh-linked extremist group Jund al-Khilafah killed in N Waziristan, Pakistan; group has claimed credit for 3 attacks in Kazakhstan. Head of Agency on Religions said number of legal religious groups reduced from 46 to 17 following new law requiring re-registration.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Oct 2012

Unchanged

Series of violent attacks in western region Atyrau: 1 killed in 5 Sept explosion near mosque; 5 alleged terrorists suspected of involvement killed during anti-terror operation 12 Sept; at least 2 police injured 15 Sept following bomb blast in interior ministry offices in regional capital; 4 suspected terrorists killed by security forces 20 Sept. Orak Sarbopeev, major of Janaozen at time of Dec 2011 clashes, found guilty 25 Sept of abuse of office and corruption, sentenced to 10 years jail; Zhalghas Babakhanov, Janaozen mayor from 1999-2009, jailed for 2 years for abuse of office. Human Rights Watch released report accusing govt and oil firms of systematic violations of rights of oil workers. Court in western city Oral sentenced man to 5 years jail for propagating religious extremism. Ministry of culture and information 11 Sept proposed to limit media reporting based on unofficial sources. PM Masimov and his govt resigned 24 Sept; Masimov appointed as head of presidential administration, widely seen as a step up. Parliament unanimously approved new PM Serik Akhmetov.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Sep 2012

Unchanged

Trial of opposition leader Kozlov for inciting social discord, attempting to overthrow constitutional order during Dec 2011 violence in Janaozen began 16 Aug. During security operation near Almaty 17 Aug police killed 9 suspected terrorists. Court 6, 10, 15 Aug jailed 15 on terrorism charges in troubled NW. Kazakh journalist beaten 8 Aug by unknown assailants in Astana.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Aug 2012

Unchanged

Security forces deployed 25 July to Janaozen to prevent “possible disorders” after reports of possible new mass protests demanding release of relatives jailed over Dec 2011 violence; authorities 3 July released dissident theatre director Bolat Atabaev, leading youth activist Zhanbolat Mamay after June arrest for “inciting social hatred”; UN Human Rights chief Pillay 12 July urged independent international investigation into violence. In Almaty: 10 July explosion in house killed 8, police said case terrorism-related; gunmen 28 July killed 2 police officers; 6 suspects killed 30 July in shootout with police.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Jul 2012

Unchanged

President Nazarbyev 1 June called murder of 14 border guards, forest ranger on Chinese border “terrorist act”; surviving guard reportedly confessed guilt, said killings reaction to mistreatment; border guard head General Myrzaliev 13 June resigned over incident. Court 4 June jailed 13 over Dec 2011 Janaozen violence; authorities 15 June arrested dissident theatre director Bolat Atabaev, leading youth activist Zhanbolat Mamay for “inciting social hatred” during Janaozen riots. Police 24 June reported killing 2 suspects in Aqtobe wanted over killing of police officer. Military participated in 9-14 June joint-SCO drills (see Tajikistan), 18-29 June exercise with U.S. forces (see Kyrgyzstan).

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Jun 2012

Unchanged

Kyrgyz President Atambaev 10 May began 2 day visit to discuss bilateral issues with President Nazarbaev, PM Masimov. Ex-prison warden 17 May sentenced to 5 years jail in connection with Dec 2011 Janaozen violence; court 23 May sentenced 11 in Aktau for Shetpe riot sparked by Janaozen violence, 6 later amnestied; 5 police 28 May sentenced to 5-7 years for “abuse of power” during Janaozen violence. Copper mine workers 7 May ended 2 day strike after salaries doubled; gold mine workers 18 May began strike over salaries; large protest 19 May in Temirtau organised by metallurgic workers trade union.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 May 2012

Unchanged

Court 9 April jailed 5 in Taraz in connection with Nov suicide blast; 42 jailed 19 April in Atyrau on terrorism charges. Following torture claims, Human Rights Watch 23 April called for suspension of trial of 37 accused of involvement in Dec 2011 violence in Janaozen; hundreds demonstrated 28 April in Almaty against govt, trial. 2 prominent reform activists 17 April barred from travelling abroad, attending meeting with European Parliament. Defence Ministry 16 April announced plans to launch first domestically produced navy vessel.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Apr 2012

Unchanged

Trial of 37 people accused of Dec 2011 violence in western town Janaozen began 27 March; hundreds 24 March attended rally in Almaty to commemorate violence; 3 Algha party activists 6 March arrested for publicising event. Lawyer of striking oil workers in W Kazakhstan 10 March released on probation following Aug arrest. Almaty court 19 March extended pretrial detention of opposition Algha party leader Vladimir Kozlov, prominent opposition activist Serik Saparghali till late April following Jan arrest. Court 26 March began trial of 47 suspects on terrorism charges, involvement in Oct bombings in Atyrau. Authorities 28 March reportedly thwarted series of “terrorist” attacks in Almaty linked to opposition leader Mukhtar Ablyazov.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Mar 2012

Unchanged

Some 1,000 anti-govt protesters 25 Feb staged unsanctioned rally in Almaty calling for political reform; govt detained key opposition leaders. Four more leaders of striking oil workers arrested 17 Feb on charges of inciting social unrest during Janaozen violence; over 100 currently being held. Following Jan arrest of unregistered opposition Algha party leader Vladimir Kozlov over Janaozen violence, further party leaders 7 Feb summoned to face National Security Committee. European Parliament 14 Feb condemned authorities’ use of lethal force in Janaozen, called for end to arrests. Opposition politicians and rights activists mid-month announced creation of international committee to defend victims of shootings in Janaozen. Current and former Janaozen mayors Orak Sarbopeyev and Zhalgas Babakhanov both detained during month on suspicion of embezzling state funds. Energy sector strikes over pay and conditions continue in West. Group of suspected religious extremists arrested 4 Feb in NW city Oral. 5 men jailed 5-13 years on terrorism charges in NW city Aqtobe 21 Feb, over July 2011 bombing. Prominent rights activist Yevgeny Zhovtis, jailed in 2009, and opposition activist Yermek Narymbaev, jailed 2010, both granted amnesty 9 Feb.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Feb 2012

Unchanged

President Nazarbaev’s Nur Otan party won 80.7% of votes in 15 Jan parliamentary elections; pro-govt Ak Zhol and Communist People’s Party received 7.47% and 7.19% respectively, gaining entry to parliament for first time. OSCE said election failed to meet “fundamental principles of democratic elections”. Nazarbaev vetoed Constitutional Council decision to cancel polls in western town Janaozen due to Dec deadly unrest and state of emergency, saying it would limit citizens’ rights; 4 Jan extended Janaozen state of emergency to 31 Jan. Some 200 opposition Azat party activists, supporters rallied in Almaty 17 Jan to protest election results; leaders fined for holding unsanctioned public gathering. Security services 23 Jan searched Almaty office of unregistered Algha party and homes of party leader Vladimir Kozlov and activists, arrested Kozlov and independent newspaper editor; govt 25 Jan announced they and 1 other opposition figure facing prosecution for “inciting violence” in Janaozen; 4 policemen to be charged with opening fire on protesters. Opposition 24 Jan renewed call for govt to halt “political repression”. Several hundred opposition activists 28 Jan protested against Nazarbaev, election results in Almaty; 3 OSDP party officials later handed jail sentences, 1 fined for organising rally.

Kazakhstan

  |  2 Jan 2012

Deteriorated

At least 15 people killed, 100 injured, around 40 buildings burned down 16 Dec as crowd including sacked oil workers clashed with govt forces in western town Janaozen following 6-month strike. Authorities 17 Dec declared state of emergency, curfew in Janaozen, accused “hooligans” of organising mass disorder, said police fired in self-defence. Phone, internet, and mobile connections into town temporarily cut off. Local residents and oil workers 17-18 Dec rallied in Shetpe and regional capital Aktau against police use of force. 16 people arrested over 16 Dec violence, which marks growing instability in west, increasing social tensions, state confusion. Eyewitnesses, opposition activitists allege 16 Dec casualties much higher, reports of mass arrests and torture. President Nazarbayev visited region 22 Dec, sacked senior company executives, regional governor and son-in-law Timur Kulibayev, though move considered unlikely to affect latter’s political prominence. Prosecutor-general 22 Dec invited UN to take part in investigations into clashes, 29 Dec announced criminal investigation into police actions. In separate developments, security services’ response to armed jihadist attacks provoking questions about state’s ability to handle security challenges. 5 members of Islamist group Jund al-Khilafah and 2 members of elite police force killed 3 Dec in operations in southern Boraldai village; militants believed responsible for killing of 2 police 8 Nov. Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) members 20 Dec agreed establishment of military facilities in member states by outside countries needs approval of all CSTO members.



Kazakhstan

  |  1 Dec 2011

Unchanged

Further concerns over security as terrorist attacks continued. Previously unknown Islamist group Jund al-Khilafah claimed responsibility for 31 Oct bombings in western city Atyrau; Atyrau prosecutor’s office 7 Nov announced detention of 3 Jund al-Khilafah members. 2 police officers shot dead 8 Nov in Almaty by unidentified assailants. Suspected Islamist 12 Nov killed 7 people, including 5 security forces, then shot himself in southern city Taraz. Jund al-Khilafah claimed responsibility; 6 suspected group members including leader arrested 30 Nov. U.S. embassy 18 Nov confirmed Peace Corps volunteers to leave country due to insecurity. President Nazarbaev 16 Nov dissolved lower house of parliament, called early parliamentary elections for mid Jan, after 53 out of 107 MPs called for body to be dissolved, replaced with multiparty legislature. Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan 18 Nov signed economic union agreement in Moscow.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Nov 2011

Unchanged

President Nazarbaev 13 Oct signed into law controversial new legislation tightening govt control over religious groups: previously unknown Islamist group Jund al-Khilafah 26 Oct threatened violence unless law abolished. 2 explosions in western city Atyrau 31 Oct; suspected suicide bomber killed. Senior member of ruling Nur-Otan party Valery Proskuryakov shot dead 13 Oct. Almaty Court 4 Oct ordered 6-month suspension of opposition Communist Party for violating law on public organisations by co-founding movement to monitor ongoing strike by thousands of oil workers in West. 2 striking oil workers, 2 journalists covering strike attacked by unknown assailants during month. 4 men sentenced 7 Oct to jail terms from 6 years to life for religious extremism, armed resistance against police, during July attack in western Aktobe region.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Oct 2011

Unchanged

Amid fears of rising Islamic extremism President Nazarbayev 1 Sept called for new law on religious activity; parliament 29 Sept passed controversial bill forcing religious organisations to  dissolve, re-register; rights groups criticised move as limit on religious freedom. Almaty court 15 Sept ordered removal of broadcast antennas from office of independent station Stan-TV over “health risks”. Military participated in Collective Security Treaty Organisation exercises (see Tajikistan).  

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Sep 2011

Unchanged

Following early July clashes between security forces and armed group in NW, 1 policeman killed 29 July in shootout with unidentified gunmen in Aktobe. Officials 30 Aug announced killing of individual allegedly planning “terrorist acts” in Atyrau region in SW. Continued protests by oil and gas workers over pay, conditions in W Mangistau province. Court 9 Aug sentenced lawyer advising striking workers to 6 years prison for inciting social disorder; communist party leader in W Kazakhstan fined 10 Aug for taking part in protests. Authorities 13 Aug blocked 13 foreign internet sites including LiveJournal for promoting terrorism, religious extremism. Collective Security Treaty Organisation summit in Astana discussed Kyrgyzstan, concerns over radicalisation and possible spill-over from Afghanistan.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Aug 2011

Unchanged

Month saw continued protests by oil and gas workers over pay, conditions in Western Mangistau province. Police special forces 8 July reportedly attacked, arrested protesters; govt blamed unidentified political forces. 1-9 July clashes between police and armed group in Western Aktobe region, and operation in NW against militants suspected of killing 3 interior ministry officers in June left 2 officers dead, 5 wounded and at least 9 militants reportedly killed, 4 captured; contradictory explanations by govt for violence. Failed jail break 12 July in Balkhash led to 16 convicts blowing themselves up, at least 1 prison guard killed, 4 wounded. President Nazarbayev 10-21 July reportedly hospitalized in Germany for prostate surgery; amid uncertainty presidential advisor Yermukhamet Yertysbayev 25 July hinted President’s son-in-law Timur Kulibayev possible successor. Kulibayev immediately rejected speculation as “complete nonsense”. 

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Jul 2011

Unchanged

Citing procedural technicalities, Senate 9 June blocked deployment of 4 military officers to join international forces in Afghanistan; earlier Lower House agreement to deployment in May followed by alleged Taliban warning of negative consequences. Govt 30 May extradited ethnic Uighur journalist to China on terrorism charges; 9 June extradited 28 Uzbeks to Uzbekistan on anti-govt, religion-related charges; prompted criticism from Human Rights Watch.  Largest copper mining company Kazakhmys secured $1.5bn loan from China during President Hu Jintao’s visit. Austria 17 June refused govt request to extradite President Nazarbayev’s former son-in-law and rival Rakhat Aliev on charges of kidnap, murder. Strike over pay and conditions in oil and gas industry continues in west.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Jun 2011

Unchanged

2 bomb attacks raised fears of terrorist activity: suicide bomber 17 May killed himself, injured 3 bystanders in blast outside Aqtobe security services building. First known suicide attack in Kazakhstan; govt denied “terrorist act”, claimed bomber member of organised criminal group, arrested his wife, reportedly member of conservative religious organisation. 2 killed 24 May after car exploded outside Astana security service building; police denied suicide bombing, said “spontaneous explosion” cause; no claim of responsibility. Clashes between police and residents over illegal land seizures near Almaty 1-2 May. PM Masimov 6 May dismissed head of customs service, police arrested key customs official, following reports of smugglers operating freely along Chinese border. Govt 3 May ratified agreement allowing U.S. to transport supplies, personnel to Afghanistan. Parliament 19 May adopted law sending 4 Kazakh troops to Afghanistan as part of NATO force; prompted warning from Taliban.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 May 2011

Unchanged

President Nazarbaev 3 Apr secured landslide presidential election victory in poll heavily criticised by international observers. Election Commission 4 Apr announced 89.9% turnout with Nazarbaev taking 95.5% of votes; OSCE said polls marred by “serious irregularities”. Nazarbaev 11 Apr announced plans to create 2-party parliament by forming new pro-business party in “revolution from above”. Nazarbaev 11 Apr appointed son-in-law Timur Kulibayev to head Samruk-Kazyna fund, stock company that controls 70% of economy, fuelling suspicions he is grooming Kulibayev as his successor. 4 Apr operation to detain 3 members of organised criminal group in Almaty left 11 elite interior force agents injured. Indian state oil and gas company 16 Apr announced purchase of 25% of Satpayev block, oil rich region of Caspian Sea; Kazakhstan signed deal with India same day on export of uranium to India.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Apr 2011

Unchanged

Alga and Communist opposition parties 4 March called for boycott of upcoming presidential election, resignation of President Nazarbaev. Demonstration for boycott in NE city Pavlodar  disrupted 11 March by 5 men, reportedly wielding knives and thought by some observers to support govt; 3 of 5 convicted of hooliganism 29 March. Rape, murder of Kazakh woman in Almaty region sparked protests against local Kurdish community 10 March. Nazarbaev mid-month declared opposition to hijab.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Mar 2011

Unchanged

President Nazarbaev 11 Feb officially registered as candidate in forthcoming presidential election, scheduled for 3 April in presidential decree issued 4 Feb, 12 Feb passed mandatory Kazakh-language exam required to run. Opposition Azat and Communist parties announced will boycott early elections, calling them breach of constitution and citing lack of time to prepare. Some 12 candidates declared intention to run. Key presidential advisor 14 Feb said no talk of successor necessary, and Nazarbaev will run again in subsequent election. Govt continued to support deportation of Uzbek refugees sought by Uzbekistan on radicalism charges; court 16 Feb denied appeal by 9 Uzbek men to remain in Kazakhstan. 4 arrested late Feb in connection with explosion outside prison in West. 4 Kazakhstani citizens reportedly detained mid-Feb in North Caucasus republic Dagestan during Russian anti-terror operations. Nazarbaev’s late Feb China visit saw important deals including uranium export, Chinese loans.  



Kazakhstan

  |  1 Feb 2011

Unchanged

After over a month of confused debate, President Nazarbaev 31 Jan buried referendum idea proposed by parliament that would have paved way for extension of his term for 10 years. Nazarbaev instead proposed early presidential elections, in unexpected move interpreted by some observers as response to anti-govt demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt. Jailed rights activist Yevgeny Zhovtis denied parole 18 Jan on grounds he appears impenitent; activists said decision connected to proposed referendum.

Kazakhstan

  |  3 Jan 2011

Unchanged

Parliament 29 Dec approved plan to hold referendum to extend Nazarbayev presidency until 2020 and cancel next 2 presidential elections. Trial opened 9 Dec against opposition presidential hopeful Zhasaral Quanyshalin on libel charges; investigation of tax evasion continued against other opposition presidential candidate Vladimir Kozlov. In capacity as OSCE chair govt 1-2 Dec hosted first OSCE summit in decade, marred by watchdogs’ allegations of rights abuses in Kazakhstan. Summit failed to adopt Action Plan due to disagreement over references to regional conflicts including issue of Moldova’s Transdniestria region, Georgia’s break-away territories, and Armenia-Azerbaijan dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh. Almaty court 14 Dec declined to grant refugee status to 3 Uzbek citizens; some 29 Uzbek asylum seekers claiming religious persecution in home country face extradition to Uzbekistan on religious radicalism charges.   

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Dec 2010

Unchanged

Opposition figure and leader of recently established Long Live Liberty party Zhasaral Quanyshalin 3 Nov announced will run for president in 2012. Reports of more cases of self-mutilation in prisons over conditions. Govt 12 Nov signed agreement with U.S. on use of Kazakh airspace for support of operations in Afghanistan. Astana court 22 Nov sentenced 6 Hizb-ut-Tahrir members to 4-7 years for advocating terrorism, social hatred.              

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Nov 2010

Unchanged

Reports emerged govt early month deported some 130 Kyrgyz migrant workers in alleged expulsion campaign that started after June unrest in Kyrgyzstan. Leader of unregistered opposition party Alga announced will run for president in 2012 election.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Oct 2010

Unchanged

Advisor to President Nazarbayev 16 Sept announced he will run for another term in 2012 presidential elections. In late month visit UN Special Rapporteur on Torture criticised state of penitentiary system following more self-mutilation cases by inmates.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Sep 2010

Unchanged

2 inmates died, 101 injured, 80 hospitalized 11 Aug after maiming themselves in prison riot in town of Granitny, northern Kazakhstan. Followed 9 Aug self-inflicted injury by 6 other inmates in protest of conditions in same prison; and 30 July incident involving 6 in Almaty prison. Prominent prisoners’ rights activist sentenced to jail 29 Aug on allegedly politically motivated charges of hooliganism.


Kazakhstan

  |  1 Aug 2010

Unchanged

At OSCE ministerial meeting 16-17 July near Almaty, govt secured commitment to hold OSCE summit in Astana by end of year. Customs union with Russia and Belarus launched early month. Court 16 July sentenced opposition politician Aidos Sadykov to 2 years for hooliganism and resistance to law enforcement authorities; supporters claim charges politically motivated.

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Jul 2010

Unchanged

Govt, currently chair of OSCE and member of CSTO, 14 June said no need for international intervention amid deadly violence in Kyrgyzstan; 17 June denied reports of entry ban for ethnic Uzbeks fleeing fighting. During 12 June visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao, countries signed deal to build and finance Kazakh section of gas pipeline network between Turkmenistan and China. Almaty court 16 June ruled accusations of embezzlement made by fugitive businessman Ablyazov against President Nazarbayev’s son-in-law unfounded. Activist Yermek Narymbayev sentenced to 4 years jail 23 June for anti-Nazarbayev slogans at May Day demonstration.

 

Kazakhstan

  |  1 Jun 2010

Unchanged

Govt 1 May dispersed May Day demonstration by opposition in Almaty, detained most protestors. Russian PM Putin 28 May announced Russia, Kazakhstan to launch bilateral customs union 1 July. Lower house of parliament 12 May, upper house 13 May approved constitutional amendment granting President Nazarbaev status of “leader of the nation” giving him ultimate say on all policy decisions, lifetime immunity from investigation and prosecution. 

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