Yesterday Sergey Duvanov, a journalist and a human rights activist was arrested for organising the protests on the square in Almaty against the constitutional amendments that exempt Nazarbayev from a limit on the number of the presidential terms.
Duvanov was holding an unsanctioned protest against what he calls the ‘Turkmenbashizma’ of Kazakhstan. Earlier in the day Duvanov posted a statement on kub.kz, in which he argued that the recent constitutional reforms are nothing but political deceit. Duvanov argues that the recent so-called democratic political reforms are, if anything, to the contrary and represent “no more than the next step in strengthening the personal authority of Nazarbaev”.
Not many people showed up at the protests:
Around 40-50 people turned up for the protest. They were, however, met by at least half as many police and assorted plain clothes KNB officers. After twenty minutes, and much discussion with police officers, Duvanov was forcibly pushed into a waiting bus where he was taken off to prison.
Casio Cisar senses the atmosphere in Almaty:
Currently in Almaty, there is a palatable sense in the air that within the ruling elite ‘something is happening’, but what it means and where it will lead is unknown.
It certainly appears from all the action online that something big is going down in Almaty. Interestingly, though, as I live very, very far from Almaty, I have heard practically no discussion about any of these topics.
Last night I asked a usually very-informed young man for his opinion… and he didn’t even know anything was happening. Perhaps because he is an ethnic Russian, and this whole drama seems to be taking place within the Kazakh community, who, after all, form nearly the entire ruling class.
Anyway, I am surprised that even 40 people would show up at a rally.
Kazis Toguzbayev posted a photo report of the protests. On some of the photos he sees the plain clothed policemen or special services agents and he shows the arrest of Sergey Duvanov as he was dragged into police car.
I looked at it and I cried, I read and I laughed, and then cried and laughed again! The sad and the funny all mixed together, just as democracy and the Turkmenbashism did… Thank you, Kazeke!
It's good that it is neither 37 nor 68, and nor 86 now! It is all civilized, gentlemen and comrades, this is how the CIVIL SOCIETY starts – from the individuals on the square, not on the recommendation of some state commissions and legislative committees. The initiatives comes from the bottom, from the people themselves.
Yesterday the news from the republic Square did not appear on channel 31. (…) There was a dialog between a female journalist who was preparing the report about the protests. Her manager said: We will not air this material (this conversation was eavesdropped accidentally, cited by memory). Journalist: Why? Manager: Just that. Journalist: Let's do it. There are some super shots. The news is interesting. Manager: It won't work. The ban from above. They stressed the scandal with Aliev and asked not to interfere with the serious politics. These amendments are like a sacred cow. So it's better to avoid showing any criticism. Journalist: It's a pity. We came here in vain.
Excellent report. It is clear without any text that the OSCE should not let us closer than within a gunshot. I wonder if there is a casting for the camera people from the secret services or something? it is difficult to imagine that so many identical faces without a trace of intellect would gather together in one place accidentally.
Does anyone know if Duvanov is out yet? What is the charge? His mobile does not answer… (…) I am curious, will it repeat if someone comes out to “walk around” the square every day? Every day the same thing? I know one thing: those who ordered to arrest Sergey are not too bright. So what, a person came out to speak to the journalists. If they didn't do what they did, everyone would go home quietly, and it wouldn't have been possible to have this brilliant photo report!
… I am “for” “Kyrgyzstan” in Kazakhstan.
You are “for” “Kyrgyzstan” in Kazakhstan, I didn't see you holding such a poster yesterday!
Why make Duvanov, a person without any intellect, an erudition or a literary talent, into a hero? Everyone knows that he just works for the grants and nothing more. By the way, his friends from the “Spartakus” [gay club in Almaty] were waiting for him yesterday.
Duvanov is at least doing something while we sit comfortably in our chairs and chew in front of the computer screens. “Everyone knows that he just works for the grants and nothing more.” – this reminds me of a bearded guy from “Odnako” program. He also liked saying: “everyone knows”… “it is clear to everyone”… “we all know”, etc. He liked speaking on behalf of the whole nation, you know…