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Kazakhstan: Rare Public Outreach Being Wound Down

Kazakhstan launched a rare exercise in consulting with the general public earlier this year to defuse spreading discontent, but the authorities are now bracing to pull the plug on the experiment and return to its more trusted heavy-handed measures.

This weekend, the government-initiated outreach commission on the land reforms rolled into the western city of Atyrau, which is notable for having mounted the largest protest rally against the proposed reforms in the spring. 

While much of the discussion on July 23 was centered on the reforms themselves, there were also multiple impassioned demands for the release of jailed activists Max Bokayev and his friend, Talgat Ayan.

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Kazakhstan: Rare Public Outreach Being Wound Down

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