Kazakhstan: Oil company thugs attack Socialist Resistance protest

Corporation connives with local authorities in forcible evictions

Last Friday afternoon, members of the Socialist Resistance, in Almata city, Kazakhstan, held a peaceful protest outside the Head Office of the giant construction and oil refinery company, Kuat Corporation. They were protesting against companies, such as Kuat, which are behind the forcible evictions of tenants from the outlying areas of Almata, so that elite new housing complexes can be built in their place. The Socialist Resistance comrades held placards saying, "We won’t allow the destruction of Almata" and "Hands off Shanyrak!"

With minutes of the protest starting, Kuat company security guards approached the picketers. Initially, the guards were restrained by the presence of over a dozen journalists. But, after a short time, the Head of Security suddenly attacked Socialist Resistance member, Ainur Kurmanov, twisting his arm behind his back and frog-marched him into the company’s premises. Two other Socialist Resistance supporters, Daniyar Yenikeev and Yakov Federov, were thrown to the ground and badly kicked.

According to Ainur, who managed to use his mobile to speak to journalists, the three Socialist Resistance members were badly beaten. Yakov has a broken nose and is badly bruised. An ambulance phoned by SR members arrived ten minutes after the attack. The security thugs "had a quiet chat" with medical workers, encouraging them to leave. The three Socialist Resistance members were then transferred to a local police station, where apparently, the police were reluctant to take them, fearing, that they, the police, would be accused of the beatings.

Please protest urgently against this brutal attack.

Email protests should be sent to the Kuat company office, demanding the sacking of the security thugs responsible for the attacks, and calling for a public enquiry into the actions of the construction companies in Almata.

Protests should be sent to:

г. Алматы, пр-т Достык 160

многоканальный телефон: 8 (3272) 444-555

E-mail: info@kuat.kz

(With copies to local Kazakh embassies)

Please send copies of your protests to: pabgem@online.ru

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September 2006