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Kazakhstan

Tuesday, 13 November 2007 / Published in Appeals, BB Govinda Swami / 4,815 views

By BB Govinda Swami

On November 8, 2007, the Supervisory Panel of the Almaty Provincial Court cancelled its decision on the transfer of 116-acre Krishna Society farm to Mr. E. Abdykalykov. The court ruled that the land be again returned to the Kazakhstan Government.

This is the second time the court has returned the property to the government of Kazakhstan.

In April 2007, by decision of the provincial court, the property which was legally owned by the Krishna Society was transferred to the state land reserve. This decision was enacted without consideration of compensation to the Society.

On October 23, 2007 Abdykalykov presented an appeal to the provincial court to regain ownership of the property.

The panel of judges satisfied his appeal despite his right of appeal having expired twenty-two months earlier. When the land was returned to his ownership he appeared at the Krishna farm demanding the society to vacate the territory within one week.

But, during the November 8th hearing, a joint protest of the decision was presented by the prosecutors of Karasai District and Almaty Province.

The protest was based on new evidence which stated that the disputed
116-acre property was offered, on a lease of five years, to an orphanage, for camping in the summer.

Abdykalykov was not present on the court hearing. The panel of judges ruled in favor of the government and transferred the land back to the land reserve of the Karasai district.

On November 10, 2007 Abdykalykov became aware of the decision. He explained that he had not been informed of the hearing and still considered himself to be the rightful owner of the property.

Karasai District was represented by the Hakimat’s hired advocate and Ryskul Zhunisbayeva, the Hakimat’s expert on religious issues.

Zhunisbayeva was last seen leading a migration police raid at the Krishna farm in September. She has also presented inflammatory statements regarding the Krishna Society on the national television.

Her xenophobic attitude to the Krishna followers, and her presence at the hearing, only solidified the doubt that the Krishna issue is an economic dispute with no traces of religious discrimination.

The Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Mr. Karim Masimov, has issued a directive to dismiss Karasai District Hakim BS Kutpanov on charges of corruption related to property deals. Kutpanov is the government official who illegally acted as the plaintiff in every case against the Krishna community.

As the Prime Minister has ordered the dismissal of the official responsible for this tragedy, why can’t the government acknowledge that things have gone terribly wrong in the handling of the Krishna issue.

For three years the government has procrastinated in fairly resolving the issue. Now, the government has placed the Krishna community and camping orphans on a collision path. This further complicates the unresolved issue.

The land was properly purchased, privatized, and cultivated by the Krishna Society for eight years. This provided food for the members, and dairy cattle, of the community.

On that property, forty Kazakh citizens, faithful Krishna devotees, still worship in their small temple. They still cultivate the land, and still care for their cows. They do this despite the fact that the government has destroyed twenty-six of their homes.

They stay because the government has made no fair offer of compensation for the destruction that has taken place due to discrimination and corruption in the Karasai District.

More than 500 members of the Krishna faith from Almaty city and province have been deprived of their place of worship.

Truly, the Kazakh government’s efforts to give children a summer camp, even if only for five years, is noble. But after five years of summer camp, what will happen to this multi-million dollar property? Who will camp on it next?

The real question is why should this be done at the expense of peaceful citizens who have purchased property, made sizable investments, and who are ultimately left with no compensation?

Press-service,

Society for Krishna Consciousness Kazakhstan

+7 701 7407943

+7 72771 34287

info@kazakhkrishna.com

Visit www. kazakhkrishna. com to see the tragedy of the Hare Krishna community in Kazakhstan.

See the video of the destruction of the Krishna Community:

http://www.kazakhkrishna.com/en-video/4.html

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One Response to “Kazakhstan”

  1. Yugal Kishor Dasa says :

    It is quite sad to see how the Kazakhstan government is mistreating ISKCON members. However, it should not be a surprise to us that the heads of State are acting as a typical communists, with their third world mentality of corruption, blind enforcement, expropriation, and leaving its citizens with no rights of any kind to protect themselves against arbitrary actions.

    In ISKCON, we have the tendency to denigrate and attack Western Civilization, specially the USA, as a demoniac form of government; but in comparison to the dimwits in Kazakhstan, I’d rather stay in the USA. At least, we got some legal recourse against the government, when it acts arbitrarily; our rights are protected under the Law, and we can preach Krishna Consciousness without being harassed.

    ISKCON leaders in Kazakhstan should prepare some type of contingency plan to get those Kazakhstani devotees to get them out of there, if the worst does occur, which it seems imminent.

    Yugala Kishor dasa (Gainesville, FL)

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