French weekly Le Point on the Kazakh regime and its opponents
© 08.01.2015

Marc Nexon who, together with President Hollande, paid a visit to Astana in December, published in Le Point weekly an article on Nursultan Nazarbayev, the long-term leader of Kazakhstan.

Nexon described the regime of the “father of the nation” – as Nazarbayev is referred to in Kazakhstan – as less repressive than in Uzbekistan, and less grotesque than in Turkmenistan, yet still despotic. He cites, as evidence, political cases filed against political opponents – including the case of former Minister Zamenbek Nourkadilov, former Mayor of Almat Viktor Khrapounov and Kazakh dissident Mukhtar Ablyazov. As Nexon points out, Ablyazov never stopped providing financial support to the democratic opposition, not even during the wave of strikes in December 2011. He also cites the former senator Zauresh Battolov in whose view “Ablyazov’s release is Nazarbayev’s greatest concern”. And Peter Sahlas, one of Ablyazov’s lawyers, in whose opinion the regime has spent USD 500 million on chasing the dissident and on a propaganda war with him. In turn, according to Bakhitzhan Toregozhin, also cited in the article, Ablyazov may pay with his life should he be transferred to Kazakhstan.