Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Krishnas Save Kazakhstan Farm

Kazakh government withdraws the claim for demolition of the only Temple of the Krishna Society in KazakhstanOn December 1, 2008 the Karasai district court Judge Shakirov informed the directors of the Krishna Society that the Karasai government had withdrawn its claim to invalidate the purpose of usage and demolition of the Temple and barn at the Krishna community in Kazakhstan.From the beginning of the case the Kazakh government failed to produce documentation requested by the court and the Krishna Society.

Judge Shakirov expressed that he did not wish to rule on this case and openly requested the Karasai government to withdraw its case and establish an amicable settlement.Independent observers from OSCE and the United Nations attended the hearings.The Krishna Society now fears that the Kazakh government will develop a stronger case to complete the systematic destruction of the Krishna community in the Karasai District.The directors of the Krishna Society met the deputy Hakim of Almaty province, S. Mukanov and requested to use the land that they legally purchased in 2004.Mukanov replied, "Three hundred percent we will never allow you to stay there. Developers have already made their plans for the area. He suggested searching for 5 hectares of alternative land in the Iliysk district of Almaty province.Since 2005 court procedures by the Kazakh government have resulted in the demolition of 26 homes of Hindu practitioners of the Krishna Society as well as the confiscation of the Society's 116 acre scenic property on the edge of Almaty city.

The property was transferred to the national land reserve, for the purpose of resale, without any compensation given to the Society.The Krishna Society is registered at the address of their Temple. The forced eviction of the Society from this property would most likely result in the loss of the legal registration of the Society.The conflict surrounding the Krishna Society is an example of the Kazakh governments will and intent in honoring its commitments to OSCE standards of freedom of religion and belief in light of its OSCE Chairmanship in 2010.

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