Kazakh Protesters Demand Renaming Of Street In Almaty For People Killed In January Unrest

Activists with the opposition movement Oyan, Qazaqstan! (Wake Up, Kazakhstan!) held a rally on November 14 in Almaty during which they demanded the renaming of Nazarbaev Avenue to Kantar (January) Avenue in memory of those killed during anti-government protests in January that claimed at least 238 lives. The action lasted approximately 10-15 minutes. Five participants pasted signs with the inscription Kantar on the facade of one of the buildings on Nazarbaev Avenue, although police later took them down. One of the protesters, Asem Zhapisheva, said the participants opposed the avenue being named after a “bloody dictator” and if the authorities cannot rename the street Kantar, “we will do it ourselves.”



Source: Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

Russian Singer’s Concert Canceled In Kazakhstan Over Her Support Of War In Ukraine

A concert by popular Russian singer Polina Gagarina has been cancelled in Kazakhstan following online protests over the singer’s vocal support of Russia’s war against Ukraine. Gagarina’s concert was planned to take place in the city of Almaty on November 14. Ads for the concert disappeared from Gagarina’s website and billboards in Kazakhstan just ahead of the event. Screenshots of correspondence by Gagarina’s agents confirming that the concert in Almaty was canceled were posted online, though there was no official announcement of it.




Source: Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

Uzbek National Electricity Control Center Says Gas Shortage May Cause Blackouts Across The Country

The Uzbek National Electricity Control Center has warned of possible blackouts across the Central Asian region due to a natural gas shortage in the country. The center’s director, Muzaffar Boboev, said in a letter to the Energy Ministry that the “severe” situation around gas supplies that started last week led to the stoppage of two power blocks at the Tashkent Thermal Power Plant. Boboev called for measures to save electricity in order to prevent possible blackouts that may affect Uzbekistan as well as neighboring Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, which receive electricity from Tashkent.



Source: Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

Activists Detained Across Kazakhstan As Early Presidential Election Day Nears

Several opposition and rights activists have been detained across Kazakhstan as the day of an early presidential election scheduled for November 20 nears.

Police in the southwestern town of Zhanaozen on November 15 detained noted opposition activist Estai Qarashaev, who was sentenced to six days in jail several hours later on a charge of violating regulations for holding public gatherings.

Qarashaev was among oil workers who protested in 2011 to demand higher wages. Police brutally dispersed the protests, killing at least 16 people.

In the country’s largest city, Almaty, on November 15, police detained Aset Abishev, a member of the founding committee of the Algha Qazaqstan (Forward, Kazakhstan) party that has been trying unsuccessfully for eight months to get registered for the election.

It is not clear why Abishev was detained. Last week, five other members of the unregistered party were detained for taking part in an unsanctioned rally in August.

Meanwhile, in the village of Bobrovka in the East Kazakhstan region, rights activist Serik Ydyryshev was detained, his wife Gulmira Berikqyzy told RFE/RL on November 15. According to Berikqyzy, her husband’s arrest is linked to the upcoming early presidential election. The police department of the East Kazakhstan region was not available for comment.

One day earlier, opposition activist Rashid Qamaldanov was sentenced in Almaty to 15 days in jail for taking part in an unsanctioned rally earlier this year.

In Astana, the capital, jailed activist Sandughash Qantarbaeva stared a hunger strike last weekend, protesting her administrative arrest that she says was handed to her to prevent her from taking part in protests on the day of the presidential election.

Many activists complained to RFE/RL that they have been followed and that police have been monitoring their homes. According to the activists, the pressure imposed on them is directly linked to the presidential poll, while the country’s Constitution guarantees them freedom of expression and freedom of public gatherings. An Interior Ministry official denied that measures to prevent the activists from holding rallies on the day of election are under way.

President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev, who has tried to position himself as a reformer, on September 1 called the early presidential election and proposed changing the presidential term to seven years from five years. Under the new system, future presidents will be barred from seeking more than one term.

Critics say Toqaev’s initiatives have been mainly cosmetic and do not change the nature of the autocratic system in a country that has been plagued for years by rampant corruption and nepotism.

Toqaev’s predecessor, Nursultan Nazarbaev, who ran the tightly controlled former Soviet republic with an iron fist for almost three decades, chose Toqaev as his successor when he stepped down in 2019.

Though he was no longer president, Nazarbaev retained sweeping powers as the head of the Security Council. He also enjoyed substantial powers by holding the title of “elbasy” or leader of the nation.

Many citizens, however, remained upset by the oppression during Nazarbaev’s reign.

Those feelings came to a head in January when unprecedented antigovernment nationwide protests started over a fuel price hike, and then exploded into countrywide deadly unrest over perceived corruption under the Nazarbaev regime and the cronyism that allowed his family and close friends to enrich themselves while ordinary citizens failed to share in the oil-rich Central Asian nation’s wealth.

Toqaev subsequently stripped Nazarbaev of his Security Council role, taking it over himself. Since then, several of Nazarbaev’s relatives and allies have been pushed out of their positions or resigned. Some have been arrested on corruption charges.

A Toqaev-initiated referendum in June removed Nazarbaev’s name from the constitution and annulled his status as “elbasy.”



Source: Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

Former Kazakh Officials Jailed On Corruption Charges

Several former officials from Kazakhstan’s western Atyrau region have been handed prison terms on corruption charges. A court in Atyrau on November 15 sentenced the region’s former deputy governor, Baqytgul Khamenova, and the ex-chief of the regional culture directorate, Aqylbek Rysqaliev, to seven years in prison each. The court ruled that the start of Khamenova’s prison term will be delayed by three years because she has underage children. A local businessman, Omirtai Adamov, was sentenced to four years in prison in the high-profile case stemming from a bribe-taking scandal last year.




Source: Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

“Special” theater organizes a tour to Astana

Senate Speaker Maulen Ashimbaev met with artists of the #SENSITIVE Dance Theater and participants of the #EREKSHETEATR project. The main composition of the teams is pupils and graduates of the North Kazakhstan special (correctional) boarding school for children with hearing impairments.

During the meeting, Maulen Ashimbaev told the children that he sincerely admired their work , and expressed gratitude to the artistic director of the theater, Olga Rostovshchikova, for her efforts to implement and promote such an important project. He also noted the great contribution of the National Delphic Committee under the leadership of Kuralai Tuspekova in support of the team.

“On the part of the state and society, it is very important to support such initiatives that contribute to the creation of a truly barrier-free and inclusive environment. Participation in such projects for many children opens up opportunities for personal and creative growth, socialization and self-realization. Such projects have a huge motivating potential for them ,” said Maulen Ashimbaev.

The Chairman of the Chamber also noted that assistance would be provided in organizing the performance of the artists of the unique #SENSITIVE theater in the capital in December of this year. Maulen Ashimbaev also called on guests and residents of the capital to support the guys and attend this performance.

“The artists of the unique #SENSITIVE theater are very talented, purposeful and motivated. You demonstrate high dance skills, great grace and an excellent sense of rhythm. I wish all theater artists good health, happiness and great success. May all your wildest plans and dreams come true ,” concluded Maulen Ashimbaev, addressing the young artists.

It should be noted that the project participants have repeatedly become winners and prize-winners of many prestigious international competitions in different countries of the world. Recently, they also successfully performed in Astana at a big concert dedicated to the Republic Day.




Source: Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Prospects for inter-parliamentary cooperation between Kazakhstan and Moldova discussed in the Senate

Deputy Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan Askar Shakirov met with the newly appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova to the Republic of Kazakhstan Lilian Darii.

During the talks, the parties noted the progressive development of mutually beneficial relations between the two countries both on a bilateral basis and within the framework of international organizations. The foreign diplomat was informed about the comprehensive reforms being carried out in Kazakhstan, as well as about the country’s position on topical issues on the international agenda.

The meeting participants agreed to further deepen inter-parliamentary ties as an important component of bilateral cooperation between Kazakhstan and Moldova, including within the framework of parliamentary friendship groups between our countries.



Source: Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Meeting on delimitation and demarcation of Kyrgyz-Tajik state border held in Dushanbe

A regular meeting of the government delegations of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Tajikistan on the delimitation and demarcation of the Kyrgyz – Tajik state border was held in Dushanbe under the chairmanship of Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic – Chairman of the State Committee for National Security of the Kyrgyz Republic Kamchybek Tashiev and Chairman of the State Committee for National Security of the Republic of Tajikistan Saimumin Yatimov.

The press service of the Kyrgyz Cabinet said that following the meeting, the corresponding protocol was signed.

The parties agreed to hold the next meeting on the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic.

The meeting was held in a friendly atmosphere and in the spirit of mutual understanding.



Source: Kyrgyz National News Agency