US Embassy expresses its concern in the light of
the recent events in Almaty
The U.S. Embassy
expresses its surprise and concern over three developments during
the past 72 hours in Almaty.
First, on March 27
Mukhtar Ablyazov, a member of Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan, was
detained by the Financial Police. While the Embassy cannot comment
on the veracity of the charges against Mr. Ablyazov, we urge that he
be released from pre-trial detention.
Second, on March
29, the Almaty branches of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the
Procurator Generalís Office searched the Astana Hotel for Galymzhan
Zhakiyanov, one of the founding members of Democratic Choice,
raising serious concerns that his arrest might also be imminent.
Third, on March
29, the Tan television station's feeder cable to the TV transmission
tower in Almaty was severed. Tanís independent programming now will
be off the air for several days while the damage is being repaired.
the actions suggest an effort to intimidate political opposition
leaders and the independent media. We urge Kazakhstan's political
leadership to investigate these events and take appropriate action
to protect and advance democratic development, a free press, and the
rule of law.