Kazakhstan’s land reform protests

Give any law merchant legislation a finger and it will grab you, your land and resources; in peace

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Over the past few days, protests against changes to the country’s Land Code have spread across the country.

First, people in the city of Atyrau in western Kazakhstan took to the streets. Then, demonstrations occurred in Aktobe in the north and in Semey in the east.

Some observers estimate that between 1,000 and 2,000 people gathered in each city, which is quite serious for Kazakhstan where no dissent is tolerated.

People are angry at the changes in the law that allow foreigners to rent agricultural land in Kazakhstan for 25 years.

This law, which was approved in November but will come into effect on 1 July, also enables land to be sold or leased at auctions.

The law fuels one of the protesters’ biggest fears – that Chinese investors will come and buy out their land.

It’s an emotive subject. One protester at the demonstration in Aktobe on 27…

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