Kazakhstan Falling Short On OSCE Goals
ALMATY (Reuters) -- Kazakhstan has made only small progress toward democracy to justify its chairmanship of Europe's main security and human rights body in 2010 and should speed up its efforts, a leading rights group has said.
The West agreed to allow Kazakhstan to become the first ex-Soviet nation to take over the rotating chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) after Kazakhstan promised to introduce a package of liberal reforms.
Kazakhstan Backs Off On Religion Limits
Kazakhstan, a key U.S. economic partner in Central Asia, has dramatically reversed legislation curtailing religious freedoms after the measure and the jailings and expulsions of two religious activists caused an international outcry.
With little explanation, the country's constitutional council announced Wednesday that amendments to a religion law were "inconsistent" with Kazakhstan's constitution.
Kazakhstan May Attempt to Impose Harsh Laws Again
Kazakh Hare Krishnas Ask OSCE To Help Defend Rights
Many in Kazakhstan remain wary, certain that officials will try again to impose harsh new restrictions on freedom of religion and belief. "This is not the end of the attempt to adopt such a law," Yevgeny Zhovtis, head of the Almaty-based Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law, told Forum 18. "I think they will try again." He believes fresh attempts could come in 2011 or 2012, after Kazakhstan has completed its chairmanship of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). "But I'm not sure that they won't try again in 2009."
WARSAW - Kazakhstan's Hare Krishna community has called on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to help it defend its rights.
Religious Groups in Kyrgyzstan Want Religious Freedom Again
Protestants, Catholics, Hare Krishna and Jehovah’s Witnesses call on the new government to establish complete religious freedom in the country.
European Religious Leaders Consult on Societies in Transition
Leaders of faith communities across Europe have gathered in Geneva to consider the role of inter-religious dialogue and cooperation.