Karaganda Authorities Refuse Picket Over Renaming Nursultan Nazarbayev Avenue

Karaganda activists insist on returning Nursultan Nazarbayev Avenue to its former name, Peace Boulevard, which it bore until 2019. However, the authorities refused to coordinate eight pickets planned in different parts of the city. For example, in one place, near the Stanislavsky Theater, they explained the reason for their refusal as “snow removal.” Reasons for the other refusals remain unknown, as representatives of the Akimat redirected journalists from one employee to another for two days. The actions were to be held near monuments and state institutions on February 17th.

The organizer of the action, Aitkozha Fazylov, said that if the proposed place is not suitable for the actions, the authorities are obliged to offer an alternative option. He also said that he had already been refused approval for the picket fifteen times already

According to him, Zhumabai Iskakov, another organizer of the action, the deputy akim of Karaganda explained their refusal by stating that holding a picket could lead to uncontrolled actions, whilst the removal of snow from the area was again cited as  the second reason. However, according to Iskakov, sooner or later the renaming will happen anyway, so if people are already coming forward with this proposal the process should not be delayed.

In September 2022, having briefly been renamed Nursultan after the former president, the capital of Kazakhstan returned to its former moniker of Astana. But whilst monuments to Nazarbayev are now actively being removed, the fact that there has been no official decision on reversing the renaming of streets in regional cities remains a cause for consternation.

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Times of Central Asia