A court in Almaty on 13 June ordered former Information Minister Altynbek Sarsenbaev to pay 1 million tenges ($7,500) in damages for defaming Khabar Agency, Interfax-Kazakhstan reported. Khabar had initially sought 50 million tenges in damages. Sarsenbaev must also publicly retract the comments he made in a 1 October 2004 interview with the opposition newspaper "Respublika" in which he alleged that Khabar was part of a monopolistic media holding controlled by Darigha Nazarbaeva, daughter of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, the Navigator website (http://www.navi.kz) reported. "I think that the court's decision is connected with the upcoming presidential elections," Sarsenbaev, co-chairman of the unregistered opposition party Naghyz Ak Zhol, commented after the ruling. He said that if repression against opposition figures continues, "there will be no need to export revolution [to Kazakhstan]; a revolution will take place inside the country." Sarsenbaev vowed to appeal the ruling. He has 15 days to do so.
Based in London, we are an informal group dedicated to supporting democracy and human rights throughout
the former Soviet Union. Our aims are:
Informing the public about issues in this area that receive little coverage in the Western media.
Staging peaceful demonstrations and letter-writing campaigns in support of specific causes.
Supporting and publicising nonviolent pro-democracy groups throughout the region.
Encouraging European and American involvement.
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