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Kazakh Activists Tell Obama: No Speech, No Summit

Kazakhstan - Independent journalists hold a protest action in Astana. 16Oct2009

Opposition activists and independent journalists gave a petition to the U.S. Consulate in Almaty on
April 12 urging President Barack Obama to reject an invitation from Kazakh President Nursultan
Nazarbaev to attend an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
(OSCE) summit in Astana, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

During a meeting with Obama in Washington on April 11, Nazarbaev
invited Obama to the summit planned for later this year. The last such summit
of heads of OSCE member states was held in Istanbul in 1999.

The petition urges Obama to oppose Nazarbaev's proposal.

Tatyana Trubacheva, the chief editor of the weekly Respublika, told RFE/RL
that Kazakhstan's chairmanship of the OSCE is questionable in light of its
suppression of free speech.

Representatives of Kazakhstan's nonregistered opposition Algha (Forward) party
and the opposition newspaper Vzglyad (Glance) were also present at the
handing of the petition to a consular official.

Kazakhstan took over the year-long OSCE chairmanship from Greece in January.

Compiled by RFE/RL's O wire.