Thank you all for assisting us in this struggle.
The human rights of Kazakhstani citizens is being violated by these actions of the Kazakh government.
There is no question of a proper court decision, because all of the decisions are ordered.
What have we done that the court will order demolition of individuals homes, to tear down peoples residences?
If something has wrongly been done, let them fine us, but to destroy peoples homes because of thier religious beliefs is unheard of.
It is beyond any perspective of reality.
Please continue to call the Kazakhstan Embassy in your countries. If you can, arrange meetings and speak to the ambassador. If that fails please organise harinama protests in the front of kazakh Embassies in your nations.
Thank you, may Krishna bless you all, Please keep up the fight with us.
With affectionate regards,
BB Govinda Swami
(Text PAMHO:11486413) --------------------------------------
Brief history of the situation:
In 1999 the members of the Krishna Confession of Kazakhstan purchased a beautiful farm outside the city of Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Since that time substantial strides have been made in creating an agricultural community, a home for the faithful, and the venue for a wonderful seminars attended by devotees from Central Asia and Russia.
Since October 2004 there have been many attempts from the government of Kazakhstan to push us from this property. This has been done by smear campaigns in the media and ongoing litigation in the courts.
On March 29, 2006 a case was conducted in the Almaty Oblast Court. Prior to issuing the ruling the judge declared that the legal arguments of the government land agency had no substance and that the arguments presented by the advocates representing our society were correct and in accordance to the Kazakhstan legal code.
But after private discussion in their chambers the judges emerged and issued a ruling against our society in which it is stated that the land be confiscated and returned to the government. This ruling was illegal and not based on legislation of the government of Kazakhstan.
We purchased the land at the market value in 1999. In 2004 we privatised the land according to the laws of Kazakhstan in. Since this time the value of this land has increased dramatically. The situation we have is that the powerful government land barons want to eliminate us by any illegal process that they may possess the land, again sell, and make astronomical profit.
We have neither time nor options left. Our last option is the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan, but need-less-to-say, the legal system does not work in this country. It is either a matter of paying for the decision or having a powerful person order the decision.
The President of Kazakhstan has gained international respect for having hosted an international religious forum in 2003. Yet, despite the talks of religious equality and openness, he is allowing a religious society to be illegally evicted from their legally acquired property.
It is an injustice performed in the name of religious equality.
.............the local court has passed an illegal ordinance, enforcing the governments repossession and destruction of land legally purchased by ISKCON and privatised through government approved means.
People are losing their homes, their livelihood, their possesions, and their dignity. This is an embarrasing and pronounced violation of human and religious rights.
Please find footage of the forceful, and illegal, attack, on the Kazakhstan devotees, and their homes, earlier today, here:
(The footage may take a few moments to load. If clicking the link does not work, please cut and paste it into the address bar of your web browser.)
In this footage, you will see the residents of Sri Vrindavana Dhama/Palace of the Soul peacefully protesting while they are attacked, harrassed, and assaulted by police and court officials and while bulldozers roll onto their property to destroy their homes.
This must end.
If you would be kind enough to look
at the following WWW Urls you will get a closer picture of what I'm saying:
It is not some hype or fantasy, these devotees are being truly victimized and nothing is being done PLEASE HELP US.
PRESS RELEASE of the Society for Krishna Consciousness in Kazakhstan
April 25, 2006: The court executives of the Karasai district of the Almaty region started to demolish the cottages owned by the members of the Religious Organization Society for Krishna Consciousness in Karasai district.
The litigation of the Hakim (Governor) of the Karasai district of the Almaty region, in coordination with the Almaty Regional Territorial Department of the Land Resources Management, against the Society for Krishna Consciousness in Kazakhstan started many months ago and finally turned into a real tragedy. In his plaint the Hakim appeals to the court with the illegal request: to evict the members of the religious organization from their land, to confiscate their plots of land and transfer them to the land reserve of the Karasai district.
The members of the religious community received a notification about the planned demolition of their houses overnight. The next day the court executives in the presence of the officers of the local Hakimat (Governor office) and the police tried to start the demolition of one of the cottages. However the members of the Society, including children and elderly women, blocked the entrance to the building by ranging themselves in the path of the bulldozer. They stood out with the posters appealing to the President of Kazakhstan for help, asking him to stop the lawlessness. The policemen made several attempts to catch the members of the Society for Krishna Consciousness and throw them inside the police car.
“We are not going to leave our homes!” with these words the followers of the Society for Krishna Consciousness stood on the defensive for many hours. Finally the court executives and the officers of the local administration left but promised to come back without fail.
The government accuses the owners of the cottages that they have not privatized their plots of land and do not have necessary documentation for the cottages situated on these plots of land.
The owners of the land repeatedly approached the Hakim of the Karasai district with the request to issue the acts of private ownership for the cottages and the plots of land, but the Hakim rejected all their applications. It is not possible to receive the technical documentation for the cottages without the acts of private ownership.
On February 21, 2005 an initiative group of 29 people applied to the Hakim with the purpose of receiving permission for privatization. The answer of the Hakim came on April 23, 2005, wherein he ordered that the submission of the initiative group would be considered for one month more.
Then the Hakim informed the defendants about the extension of the term of considering their application until May 23, 2005.
After which he brought claims against them on April 15, 2005, after neglecting to consider their application.
The Land Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan maintains and protects the rights of the land users. The land laws do not impose limitations on the period necessary to receive the acts of private use of land.
The Hakim’s motives are extraordinarily selfish, especially as he constantly accuses the cottage owners that their cottages were not privatized, and he is the only person authorized to give such permission for privatization.
Five cottages to be demolished have been mentioned in the executive list. All these cottages belong to the members of the Society. However the authorities say that this is only a beginning. Five more claims are currently considered by the court. The Hakimat officers have said that there are 12 more claims on the way. Actually the list of the court executive contained information of 47 houses of the followers of the Society for Krishna Consciousness, out of which five had to be demolished on April 25.
Each of the above mentioned claims is issued to individual citizens of Kazakhstan. Yet in each and every claim the connection of the defendants to the Religious Organization Society for Krishna Consciousness has been illustrated. This is a direct and flagrant violation of human rights and freedoms which are guaranteed by the Constitution of Kazakhstan. This is a direct transgression of the policy of the President of Kazakhstan who demonstrated great liberality by conducting the First Congress of World and Traditional Religions in Astana in 2003.
The members of the Religious Organization Society for Krishna Consciousness took part in that Congress. At that time spiritual unity of all the religions in Kazakhstan was declared. Let us ask what is happening with the religious freedom now, on the eve of the Second Congress, planned for September of 2006? In the situation with the Religious Organization Society for Krishna Consciousness we have a clear fact of religious intolerance displayed by the local executive authorities.
One of these days the government will again attempt to demolish the cottages. Please illuminate this situation in mass media, give us your help so that the greed and self motivation of powerful individuals will not deny a religious community of what they have legally acquired and their right to exist. We are ready to present all the documents related to this case, pictures, and video materials.
Maxim Varfolomeev, PR department of the Religious Organization Society for Krishna Consciousness in Kazakhstan, tel. +7 300 740 79 43
Ekaterina Levitskaya, the representative of the Coordinator of the International
Society for Krishna Consciousness in Kazakhstan and Central Asia, tel.
+7 300 716 49 67
For a personal commentary by an Old Believer about continuing denial of equality to Russia’s religious minorities see F18News http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=570
For more background see Forum 18’s Russia religious freedom survey at http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=509
Read the entire article HERE
(RUSSIA: Blocks to acquiring places of worship)
An Expose of facts surrounding Kazakhstan's political, religious, cultural
and economic regime:
Details of Embassy Education and Cultural links
Internews Kazakhstan - their local news web-site (their "NEWS"
is two years old )
Governments on the WWW: Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan Special Weapons - Weapons of Mass Destruction:
Useful links regarding Kazakhstan
KAZAKHSTAN: Farm confiscated, dachas to be
Submitted by jswami on April 29, 2006 - 4:02pm.
Forum 18, the Oslo-based religious-rights organization, has posted an April 26 update on attempts by local authorities in Kazakhstan to oust Hare Krishna devotees from their homes and seize their property.
You can help the devotees by spreading this news as widely as possible—for example, by posting to relevant sites and newsgroups the link to that April 26 update.
Oppression prefers to work without publicity.
Hold Harinam outside Kazakhstan Embassies or Consulates in your region and present a petition such as was done in Rome http://www.prabhupada.org/rama/?p=1759
Write to your local politician and ask them to put pressure through the international community
Write to Vice President of the USA who will be in Kazakasthan in May
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights - http://www.unhchr.ch/html/hchr/contact.htm
Human Rights Watch Worldwide - http://www.hrw.org/contact.html
HRF Human Rights First - http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/index.asp
Please consider doing any of the following:
(1) Contact your local branch of Amnesty International (http://www.amnestyusa.org or http://www.amnesty.org ) and describe the situation to them. Ask what can be done and speak with their advisors to determine how to take, and inspire, action for restoration of the Kazakhstan devotees’ religious and human rights.
contacts for Amnesty International:
In Australia the contact details are:
phone: 1300 300 920
In New Zealand you can reach them here:
phone: 0800 AMNESTY (0800 266 378) or +64-9-303 4520
In the United States the details can be found HERE
(2) See the below list of telephone and fax numbers and make an endeavour to contact the government of Kazakhstan and its associated branches, to voice your protest. The numbers are often difficult to get through to. Keep trying! When you do get through, INSIST on speaking to someone who speaks fluent English (unless, of course, you are fluent in Russian or Kazakhstani).
Presidential Office: +7 (3172) 152634, 152920, 152107 +7 (3172) 324558 Presidential PR department: +7 (3172) 744051
Administration of the President: +7 (3172) 151203, fax +7 (3172) 324480
Prosecutor’s office of RK +7 (3172) 712868, 214025, 712500
Senate +7 (3172) 153195, 153239, 327710
Senate PR department: +7 (3172) 153295, 153505 fax +7 (3172) 334639
Committee on Religious Affairs Mr. Yeraly Lukpanovich Tugzhanov +7 (3172) 152497, 152217, 152690 fax +7 (3172) 328356
Prime Minister Mr. Danial Akhmetov +7 (3172) 152035, 152027
Almaty Regional Land Department Mr. Nauryzbai Asanbayevich Taubayev +7 (3272) 270125
Almaty Regional Hakim Mr. Serik Abikenovich Umbetov +7 (3282) 271753
Karasai District Hakim Bolat-bi Satynbayevich Kutpanov +7 (32771) 21142, 21709
Karasai District Court: +7 (32771) 20899
Court executive Ms. R. Baimukhanbetova +7 (32771) 22030
As earlier communiques from Kazakhstan have already explained, the following arguments may be presented:
“(A) Law-obedient citizens are deprived of their homes and thrown to the street. All of them have lawfully acquired the right of ownership for their plots of land, they have paid all the taxes and membership charges.
(B) The Hakim (Governor) of the district accuses the owners that they never had their property privatized. However the members of the community repeatedly applied to the Hakim for his permission to make the acts of ownership for their cottages and plots but he repeatedly refused. Without his sanction for privatization one cannot make needed documentation for the cottages.
(C) The devotees’ houses are located on the territory of a Consumers Cooperative. There are 120 members of this Cooperative. However the claims are brought only against the members of the religious society. In each and every claim the connection of the defendants to the Religious Organization Society for Krishna Consciousness has been illustrated. This is a direct and flagrant violation of human rights and freedoms which are guaranteed by the Constitution of Kazakhstan.
(D) Confiscation of property without compensation is possible only in a criminal case. Ours is a civil case. It is not a criminal case.
(E) According to the law, the citizens whose property is confiscated are given at least 5 days to prepare for the execution of the court decision. In our case we have another transgression of the law as we were given less than one day.”
Please contact any media connections you may have. Public knowledge of conspiracy and exploitation often serves well to eliminate it.
Please also contact the government of Kazakhstan in writing at:
To the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Mr. Nazarbayev N.A.
Government Palace, Levoberezhye,
Astana, 010000, Republic of Kazakhstan
To the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Mr. Nazarbayev N.A.
Akorda, Astana, 010000, Republic of Kazakhstan
Or, by e-mail at:
President’s e-mail: sitePRK@global.kz
Please contact Sri Vrindavana Dhama/Palace of the Soul directly, at: email@example.com
Thank you for your immediate attention to this very serious problem.
With Kindest Regards,
Sundara nanda-gopala dasa
Silk Road Foundation