Dmitry's Feed
Nov 18, 2011

U.S. to pull Peace Corps volunteers from Kazakhstan

ALMATY (Reuters) – The United States is preparing to withdraw its Peace Corps volunteers from Kazakhstan, ending its 18-year presence in the Central Asian state, the U.S. embassy said Friday.

There are 121 Peace Corps volunteers currently working in Kazakhstan, according to its official website, kazakhstan.peacecorps.gov.

Nov 16, 2011

Kazakh leader calls early parliamentary election

ALMATY, Nov 16 (Reuters) – Kazakh President Nursultan
Nazarbayev dissolved the lower house of parliament on Wednesday
and called a snap parliamentary election for Jan. 15-16, in a
move that will dilute the ruling party’s monopoly in the
oil-producing Central Asian state.

The election from party lists will be held on Jan. 15. The
next day, other deputies will be chosen by the People’s Assembly
of Kazakhstan, a consultative body loyal to Nazarbayev.

Nov 14, 2011

Kazakhs put on alert after Islamist attacks

ALMATY, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Kazakh President Nursultan
Nazarbayev called on his people on Monday to stay vigilant in
the face of rising extremism, two days after an Islamist
militant killed seven people in a rampage through a city in the
Central Asian state.

The prosecutor-general’s office said a 34-year-old “follower
of jihadism” had killed five members of the security forces and
two civilians in the attack in Taraz on Saturday, the latest in
a string of such incidents in the oil-producing state.

Oct 31, 2011

Kyrgyz PM claims election victory as rivals rally

BISHKEK/OSH, Kyrgyzstan (Reuters) – Kyrgyzstan’s Moscow-backed prime minister claimed victory on Monday in a presidential election, but observers reported some voting abuses and supporters of defeated candidates rallied in the south of the restive former Soviet republic.

With 99 percent of ballots counted, pro-business Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev had 63 percent of the vote, an outright majority that would avoid the need for a second round run-off against a potentially strong rival from the south.

Oct 31, 2011

Kyrgyz PM set to win tense presidential vote

BISHKEK/OSH, Kyrgyzstan (Reuters) – Kyrgyzstan’s Moscow-backed prime minister was poised to become president of the strategically important former Soviet republic on Monday, with nearly all votes counted in a poll set to be disputed by rivals alleging electoral shortcomings.

The vote is a test of reforms designed to make Kyrgyzstan, a landlocked country of 5.5 million, the first parliamentary democracy in Central Asia after 20 years of failed authoritarian rule that triggered a bloody revolution in April last year.

Oct 30, 2011

Ethnic Uzbeks vote for “another Putin” in Kyrgyzstan

TASHLYQ, Kyrgyzstan (Reuters) – Ethnic Uzbeks voting in Kyrgyzstan’s presidential election on Sunday backed a candidate with ties to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as the leader most likely to protect them from renewed violence in the former Soviet republic.

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev, 55, is favorite to become the next president of the strategic Central Asian state of 5.5 million people.

Oct 28, 2011

Kyrgyz presidential hopeful says “millions” could rebel

BISHKEK (Reuters) – A leading candidate to become Kyrgyzstan’s next president said on Friday that “millions” would rise to overthrow the leaders of the Central Asian republic if Sunday’s election was rigged.

The presidential election threatens to expose a north-south cultural divide in the mainly Muslim country of 5.5 million as it attempts to complete its first experiment with parliamentary democracy after two decades of authoritarian rule.

Oct 13, 2011

Kazakhstan curbs religious freedom to halt militancy

ALMATY (Reuters) – Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a tough religion law Thursday including a ban on prayer rooms in state buildings, aimed at stamping out Islamist militancy but criticized by Kazakhstan’s top Muslim cleric and the West.

Nazarbayev, 71, has ruled Kazakhstan for more than 20 years as a secularist autocrat. Until this year, the 70 percent Muslim country largely avoided the Islamist violence seen in other central Asian ex-Soviet states like Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Oct 6, 2011

U.S. watchdog urges release of jailed Turkmen reporter

ALMATY, Oct 6 (Reuters) – A U.S.-based media watchdog
demanded on Thursday the release of a radio journalist jailed
for five years in Turkmenistan, saying his sentence was
punishment for his independent reporting.

Dovletmurad Yazguliyev, a local correspondent for the
Turkmen service of the U.S. government-funded Radio Free
Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), was sentenced on Wednesday on
charges of inciting a relatives’s suicide attempt, the New
York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in a
statement.

Sep 30, 2011
via FaithWorld

Top Kazakh Muslim cleric raps tough new religion law, warns of extremism

Photo

(Kazakhstan's Supreme Mufti Absattar Derbisali (L) with President Nursultan Nazarbayev (R) at the Central Mosque in Almaty November 16, 2010/Shamil Zhumatov)

Kazakhstan’s top Muslim cleric hit out on Friday at a tough new law on religious activity and warned that the restrictions it imposed on pious Muslims could spur extremism. Article 7 of the bill, which was passed by the Senate on Thursday and has already been approved by the lower house, bans prayer rooms in all state institutions.