Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai discharged from hospital

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban for campaigning for education for girls, was discharged yesterday from the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham, England after success in the first stage of her medical treatment.

In October, Yousafzai was shot by Taliban forces on a school bus in Mingora, Swat District, Pakistan. She was given emergency treatment in Pakistan and then flown to Britain for treatment at a specialist unit which deals with injured soldiers.

Dave Rosser, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust medical director, gave a statement about Yousafzai’s release from hospital: “Malala is a strong young woman and has worked hard with the people caring for her to make excellent progress in her recovery. Following discussions with Malala and her medical team, we decided that she would benefit from being at home with her parents and two brothers. She will return to the hospital as an outpatient and our therapies team will continue to work with her at home to supervise her onward care.”

She is due to return to hospital in a few weeks for cranial reconstructive surgery.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Pakistani_schoolgirl_Malala_Yousafzai_discharged_from_hospital&oldid=4627170”

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Progressive Conservative candidate Jim Chapman, London-Fanshawe

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Jim Chapman is running for the Progressive Conservative of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the London-Fanshawe riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Ontario_Votes_2007:_Interview_with_Progressive_Conservative_candidate_Jim_Chapman,_London-Fanshawe&oldid=519021”

Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed further

Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “Old deeds threaten Buffalo, NY hotel development” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Friday, March 10, 2006

Buffalo, New York —The Common Council of Buffalo voted on Tuesday to send the Elmwood Village Hotel proposal “to committee for further discussion”, after citing the need for more public involvement.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a development proposal by the Savarino Construction Services Corporation, a project designed by the architect Karl Frizlen of The Frizlen Group. The hotel would be placed on the southeast corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo.

To make way for the project, at least five buildings located at 1109 to 1121 Elmwood Ave would be demolished. At least two properties on Forest Avenue could also be demolished. The Elmwood properties, according to Eva Hassett, Vice President of Savarion Construction, are “under contract”, but it is unclear if Savarino Construction actually owns the Elmwood properties. Hans Mobius, a former mayorial candidate, is still believed to be the current owner the properties. Mobius also owns 607 Forest Avenue.

The properties 605 and 607 Forest Avenue could also be included in the proposal according to Hassett.

“We would use a Special Development Plan to rezone 1119-1121 Elmwood and 605 Forest to a C-2 zoning category,” stated Hassett. It is possible that Savarino Construction may try to obtain a variance for 605 Forest, which would allow them to enforce eminent domain, should the hotel be allowed to go forward.

The building at 607 Forest was also discussed to be rezoned, but it is unclear what the plans would be for that property. During the February 28 Common Council meeting, Hassett stated that the properties 605 and 607 were “now off the agenda”.

Pano Georgiadis, owner of Pano’s Restaurant at 1081 Elmwood, owns the property at 605 Forest and attended Tuesday’s Common Council meeting.

“Having a hotel is a bright idea. We all love the idea of a hotel, but the way that it is presented, is wishful thinking. This hotel does not fit. It’s like putting two gallons of water in a gallon jug, it does not fit. At the last meeting, the architect admitted that they are planning to put the undergound parking lot and the hotel, right at the property line. If I open my window, I will be able to touch the wall, that goes fifty feet high”, said Georgiadis.

“There is a problem having a seventy-two room hotel and fifty-five parking spaces. That means that all the other cars will spill all over the neighborhood. The footprint is simply too small. If you have a bigger [parking] lot, and a smaller hotel, I will welcome a hotel. I have a parking lot at my own business, and I am chasing people all day long. Remember, the city says it has ‘zero tolerance [for illegal parking]’. Try telling that to the guy from Albany who came to see his kids, that are going to Buffalo State, who would get tickets totaling over a hundred dollars”, added Georgiadis.

The city’s Planning Board is scheduled to meet on March 14, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. about the proposal. Although a discussion will take place, no vote is expected to be taken.

At the moment, none of the properties are zoned for a hotel. Savarino Construction plans on asking for a C2 zoning permit. If that does not work, they plan to implement a new zoning plan called a “special development plan” which would allow for only a hotel on the site. That zone would not be able to be changed.

“This [project] justifies Mobius’s refusal to invest in any maitenance[sic] or improvements”, on the properties said Clarence Carnahan, a local resident. “Where were the Council persons over the years? Where were the city inspectors over the years, to make sure that he maintained and improved his properties? The government was supposed to be protecting, not being preditorial. I see a predatorial issue here when it comes to this hotel. Over the years: Why has the local government been disfunctional when it came to Mobius’s properties? Refusal to invest in improvements, doesn’t that sound like a slumlord? Maybe I am missing a point here, but what kind of messages does this send to other slumlords that havn’t[sic] been jailed or fined? It’s [the hotel] trying to be pushed through.”

Carnahan also presented signs for residents and or business owners who are opposed to the hotel, that could be placed in windows or on stakes in the yard. Some of the signs said, ‘No tell hotel’, ‘Hans off, no hotel’, ‘It takes more than a hotel to make a village’. and ‘Keep Elmwood free, no hotel’. Carnahan plans on making more signs for a protest to be held on Saturday March 18, at 2:00 p.m. (EST) on Elmwood and Forest. Some signs were given to individuals after the meeting.

“First things first, Hans is the problem, and I don’t think it has been addressed. Let’s roll back the clock on this project. What can we do with Hans? There is such thing as eminent domain, which could be of greater interest to the community, to seize the property at its lowest assessed value”, said Nancy Pollina, co-owner of Don Apparel with Patty Morris at 1119 Elmwood. “There are so many ideas that have not been explored and we are about to give this parcel away, to a big developer.”

Mobius has not returned any calls by Wikinews regarding the situation.

A freelance journalist writing for Wikinews has obtained a letter, exclusively, addressed to one of the five business owners from Hans Mobius stating:

There is a proposal to develop my property which you are currently renting. Because of opposition to this development, it does not look like it will happen. I will let you know if there any changes.

Despite the letter, there have been no plans or decisions made to end the proposal.

To date, none of the business owners or residents of 1119-1121 Elmwood have received an eviction notice.

Business owners and residents gave an indication of what they would like to see happen at the corner; a project similar to one done locally last year. There, developers renovated two buildings on Auburn and Elmwood Avenues, merging the buildings into one thus allowing for more shop space. Among some of the shops to move in after the development were Cone Five Pottery, The Ruby Slipper, and Abraham’s Jewelers. Prior to the renovation work, the left building in the picture was boarded up for several years. Many of the concerned locals would like to see a similar development on Forest and Elmwood.

Rocco Termini, a developer in Buffalo, proposed a similar design at the February 28 community meeting

In an interview after the February 28 meeting, Termini stated, “I will be willing to take a look at this myself, or I would be more than happy to be partners with Sam, Sam Savarino”, who is President and Chief Executive Officer of Savarino Construction Services Corp.

So far Savarino Construction has no plans to team up with Termini.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Buffalo,_N.Y._hotel_proposal_delayed_further&oldid=2584585”

Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners

Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “Old deeds threaten Buffalo, NY hotel development” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Friday, February 17, 2006

Buffalo, New York —Savarino Construction Services Corp. has proposed a $7 million hotel project at the Forest and Elmwood Avenue intersection, according to The Buffalo News. The proposal calls for a 5-story, 45,000 square-foot 80-room hotel with underground parking for at least 50 vehicles, and 4,500 square-feet of retail space on the lower level.

Hans Mobius, the owner of the five properties to be purchased in the plan (1109 to 1121 Elmwood), reportedly signed a contract with Savarino to assemble the development.

“We saw a huge opportunity to bring something to the Elmwood Village that will make sense and bring a service that’s currently not available,” said Eva Hassett, vice president of Savarino. “Elmwood is such a wonderful place to eat, shop, walk and spend time. We believe this project will add to that vibrant environment.”

Some business owners in the area see it differently. Wikinews interviewed 2 of the 4 owners whose business’s would be demolished if the development goes through.

Nancy Pollina, of Don Apparel at 1119 Elmwood, who found out about the development only yesterday, said she is “utterly” against the proposal. Her apparel shop has stood at the same location for nearly 14 years. She has volunteered in the community, and helped create several gardens around bus shelters in the city, and served on Forever Elmwood Board for six years as head of Beautification. Patty Morris co-owns Don Apparel with Pollina.

“To say this is a good looking project, I want to say the emperor has no clothes. This [project] does not take into consideration the needs of the college students. I have been told by college students, these shops here, are the reason they leave the campus,” said Mrs. Pollina.

Buffalo State College is 500-feet from the intersection.

Michael Faust, the owner of Mondo Video said, “Well, I do not really want to get kicked out of here. The landlord was very open, and the deal he made with me when I moved in here was ‘the rent is cheap and I [the landlord] will not fix anything and that will not change.'” Faust said he first learned of the development plan, “about 48 hours ago. I found out on Tuesday when the Buffalo News called and asked for my opinion on this.” Faust has not said if he will make plans to relocate. “We have to see if this [house] is going to get knocked down first,” said Faust.

An “informational” meeting, where citizens can voice opinions and learn about the proposal, will be held on Tuesday February 21, 2006 at 5:00pm (eastern), at the Burchfield-Penney Art Center Gallery at Buffalo State College, Rockwell Hall.

Executive director of Forever Elmwood Corporation, Justin P. Azzarella would not comment on whether or not the organization supports the development, saying, “you will just have to come to the meeting.”

Forever Elmwood Corp. is designed to preserve and protect the unique and historic nature of Elmwood Avenue and its surrounding neighborhoods and encourage neighborhood commercial revitalization. The organization was founded in 1994.

Nearly two years ago, the Forever Elmwood Corp. assisted in the blocking of the demolition of the Edward Atwater house at 1089 Elmwood next to Pano’s Restaurant which is at 1081 Elmwood. Owner Pano Georgiadis wanted to expand his restaurant onto the property where the house now stands, but the Common Council denied his permit to demolish saying the house is a historical landmark and needs to be protected. Georgiadis, who has a bleeding ulcer, said that all the court cases landed him in the hospital. “I got a bleeding ulcer, and since then, I don’t care about this house anymore, or this city. I just go to work every day. I think [preservationists] are parasites,” said Georgiadis.

Georgiadis will not be attending Tuesday’s meeting saying, “I will be out of town.”

In 1995 Hans Mobius proposed a plan to develop a Walgreens, that was to be placed in the same location, but residents and business owners shot down the proposal. Walgreens eventually withdrew its request for a variance after pressure from the community.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Hotel_development_proposal_could_displace_Buffalo,_NY_business_owners&oldid=4461895”

Microsoft extends warranty for all Xbox 360s

Saturday, December 23, 2006

On December 22, 2006 Microsoft has announced that it has extended its warranty for all Xbox 360 video game consoles to one year in the United States. While this one year warranty applies to all Xbox 360 software as well, Xbox 360 accessories will still carry their original 90 day warranty.

According to a statement by Microsoft:

“Customers that experience hardware issues with their Xbox 360 within one year of purchase will have their consoles repaired at no cost. Moreover, the new warranty policy is retroactive, so consumers that may have already paid for out-of-warranty Xbox 360 repair within one year of the console’s purchase will be eligible for reimbursement of their console repair charges.”

This extension should help ease customers’ minds who have been concerned with the Xbox 360’s reputation for hardware failures. A partial list of hardware issues can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_360_technical_problems

People who have paid for Xbox 360 repair will be automatically distributed a reimbursement check in about 10 weeks from the present date.

Previously in September, 2006, Microsoft had waived the cost for repairs on all Xbox 360 consoles made before January 1, 2006, and refunded any fees already paid.

A full description of the updated warranty can be found here: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/support/systemsetup/xbox360/resources/warranty.htm

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Microsoft_extends_warranty_for_all_Xbox_360s&oldid=719252”

Canada’s Toronto—Danforth (Ward 30) city council candidates speak

Saturday, November 4, 2006

On November 13, Toronto residents will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Toronto Centre (Ward 28). One candidate responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Edward Chin, Paula Fletcher (incumbent), Patrick Kraemer, Suzanne McCormick, Daniel Nicastro, and Michael Zubiak.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Canada%27s_Toronto—Danforth_(Ward_30)_city_council_candidates_speak&oldid=1900901”

Queensland state Green party to run environmental lawyer in treasurer’s electorate

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Queensland Greens will run an environmental lawyer against incumbent treasurer Andrew Fraser at this years Queensland state election in Australia. Larissa Waters will be the party’s candidate for the seat of Mt Coot-tha.

Ms Waters says she is hoping that the premier does not call the election in May, as she [Ms Waters] is expecting her first child that month.

“I am giving that a fair bit of interest,” she said. “Luckily we have a pretty good branch in Mt Coot-tha.”

Ms Waters received a 6 per cent swing at the 2006 election in the Brisbane Central electorate, which was then held by then premier Peter Beattie. She then missed out on a federal senate spot by a narrow margin.

While acknowledging Mr Fraser’s abilities, Ms Waters questions whether he was still in touch with the electorate.

“This has been the greenest electorate in Queensland is the past few elections,” she said. “And Andrew Fraser is just not green enough for this electorate. It think it is more important that he is more connected with the people of his electorate than schmoozing.”

The Greens unveiled its policy to open two solar power stations last weekend.

“We can tackle climate change and create long-term jobs, but Labor can’t see that because they are blinded by the interests of their big donors – the urban development and coal industries,” Ms Waters said.

“The Greens want to give the community and the environment a voice back in State Parliament.”

Queensland’s unicameral parliament is currently made up of 58 Australian Labor Party (ALP) members, 25 Liberal National Party (LNP) members, one member each from The Greens and One Nation and four independents.

Ms Waters believes there is a general dissatisfaction with both the ALP and LNP and promotes the Greens as an appropriate balance of power, similar to that of the party’s federal senate members.

Acknowledging the steps taken by the premier on reforming laws to protect the Great Barrier Reef, she has said that “[i]t is long overdue. But the package doesn’t cover the complete range of issues. We need both ‘stick and carrot’ in our approach in this area.”

Her campaign will be officially launched today on Mt Coot-tha.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Queensland_state_Green_party_to_run_environmental_lawyer_in_treasurer%27s_electorate&oldid=4220381”

John Constable painting location mystery solved after 195 years

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The mystery of the location of a viewpoint used by English painter John Constable has been solved, after nearly 200 years. The Stour Valley and Dedham Church was painted in Suffolk, England, between 1814 and 1815, but changes to the landscape meant that the spot he chose was not known, despite the best efforts of historians and art experts.

Now the puzzle has been answered. Martin Atkinson, who works for the National Trust as property manager for East Suffolk, used clues from the painting and looked at old maps to track down the viewpoint. Trees had grown, a hedgerow had been planted and boundaries had moved or disappeared, but Atkinson eventually worked out where Constable had stood. He said, “When I discovered that I had worked out the location where Constable painted this particular masterpiece, I couldn’t believe it. All the pieces of the jigsaw finally fitted together.”

Atkinson used an 1817 map of East Bergholt, where Constable grew up, as a reference point, but found that the view would have changed not long after the painting was completed. “The foreground didn’t fit at all, it was quite unusual as we know Constable painted it in the open air so he would have been standing in the scene. The hedgerow in his work no longer exists and there’s another hedgerow that runs across the scene today which wasn’t there. When you stand on the road on which he would have stood, and use the oak tree as a reference point, you see the same view. It’s great to see where an old master stood – and be inspired by the same view,” he said.

Suffolk, where Constable painted many of his finest paintings, is often called “Constable country”. Most, but not all, of the locations that Constable depicted are known. The picture is now housed in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=John_Constable_painting_location_mystery_solved_after_195_years&oldid=2584659”

New ‘clean water’ funding for Djibouti’s drought-stricken rural areas

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

With the announcement Monday of 2 million in new funding from the European Union (EU), the Republic of Djibouti’s Ministry of Agriculture hopes to provide some relief to an estimated 25,000 rural inhabitants suffering through severe drought conditions. The money, to be channeled through UNICEF for its water and sanitation program, will be used to develop new wells and improve existing ones.

UNICEF is to contribute a further €60,000, as well as technical expertise to the Ministry of Agriculture, who will carry out the bulk of the work.

“The two-year water supply project targeting rural districts is very significant since people living in 45 villages and their 40,000 heads of cattle will have access to clean drinking water,” said Joaquin Gonzalez, EU Representative in Djibouti.

At the same time, the UN aid agency World Food Program (WFP) indicated that it is working with the Ministry of Agriculture and UNICEF to gradually shift Djibouti’s reliance on emergency aid to a Food for Work program, which it hopes will assist nomadic herders in Djibouti with long-term sustainability. “What we are trying to do together with the Ministry of Agriculture and UNICEF is, for example to dig wells so that despite drought, these herders will be able to irrigate their fields,” said Simon Pluess, WFP spokesman. “And, together with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, we will try and promote vegetable gardens.”

Djibouti has survived harsh drought conditions for the past 5 years. Groundwater is the primary source of water for drinking and irrigation, but has been difficult to exploit and is often contaminated. Almost 50 percent of people in rural Djibouti do not have ready access to properly developed source of drinking water. And, due to the ongoing drought, water availability for livestock is limited. Livestock have shown signs of distress and, subsequently, milk production is down substantially.

Nearly half of all families in Djibouti’s northwest were forced to migrate to find pasture for their livestock. As the droughts continue, the importance of properly maintained wells has become apparent. “Life is harder and harder for us. Years ago there were more rains and also more pastureland for cattle. Now it is good for us to have functioning wells so that we can keep cattle here,” said Anou Amada, farmer in the village of Andoli.

A 2006 survey indicated that only 15 percent of wells in Djibouti were equipped with a protective concrete wall to prevent contamination. Andoli’s well is one of many undergoing repair through WFP’s Food for Work project.

“WFP couldn’t do this alone, so we work with the Ministry of Agriculture and UNICEF to dig wells and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization for vegetable gardens,” said Benoit Thiry, Director, WFP in Djibouti.

When the project is completed in 2008, it will have increased Djibouti’s water pump capacity by adding 25 solar-power pumps, which would compliment the current 61 diesel-powered pumps. “The advantage of solar…is that it is much cheaper and requires less maintenance,” said Omar Habib, UNICEF communication specialist. “We want the people to participate and to appropriate these pumping stations. The government’s role in the long term should be as restricted as possible,” he added.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=New_%27clean_water%27_funding_for_Djibouti%27s_drought-stricken_rural_areas&oldid=457203”

Hare Krishna village demolished in Kazakhstan, religious persecution alleged

Friday, November 24, 2006

An ongoing struggle in Kazakhstan between the authorities and a local Hindu village has turned serious. Forum 18 has been documenting the alleged human rights abuse regarding the Hare Krishna village for some time, but as of 21st November events took a drastic turn.

The following was seen and written by Ninel Fokina, president of the Almaty Helsinki Committee, and Andrei Grishin, official member of the International Bureau of Human Rights and Law Observance:

On November 21, 2006 at 1 pm the information was received that according to the court decision to evict the members of the religion organization International Society for Krishna Consciousness from the occupied land near Sri Vrindavan Dham farm, and the demolition of 13 country houses will beginimmediately.

Heavy equipment was brought to the suburban community: trucks, demolition machines, three busses with riot policemen, a bus withdemolition squad and the local authorities including the Hakim. Electricity was disconnected in the morning of the same day.

There were only women and children in the village. All men went to work in town.

The president of the Almaty Helsinki Committee Ninel Fokina tried to contact different officials in Astana (the capital): B.Baikadamov, the envoy of human rights, B. Muhamedjanov, the minister forinternal affairs I. Bakhtibayev, the assistant General Prosecutor; R.Aliev, the deputy minister for foreign affairs.

She had a conversation with B. Baikadamov, the only person she could reach at that time, who promised to communicate to theCommittee of Religious Affairs at the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme Court, and the Court Administration Committee which includes the department of court decision execution.

At 3 pm representatives of human rights organizations: Ninel Fokina, Andrei Grishin, and Maxim Varfolomeev, press-secretary of theSociety for Krishna Consciousness, plus, a journalist and representativeof Astana TV channel left for the village which is located 40 km fromAlmaty.

All the roads to village were closed and patrolled by police. They would not let anyone go through. The human rights representatives and the journalist took detour through the fields. It was snowing, but they were able to reach the border of the village because of the four-wheel-drive jeep they were traveling in. But even that road was closed by patrol.

The jeep was not allowed to drive into the village. The patrol explained it was instruction of authorities. When Grishin and the jeep driver tried to pass by walk they were stopped and threatened to beput in handcuffs. And the patrol promised to send for additional force.

Lieutenant colonel, who came with another patrol car, explained that they are not allowed to the village for their own safety. He said that at that time the electric line was being dismounted in the area.

The driver of the jeep had his wife and two months old daughter in thevillage. He was begging to let him go through, but his request was denied. He was told that safety is guaranteed to his family.This group could still enter the village. They approached it from the other detour road, and leaving the car on the sidewalk, one by one theyentered the village.

As they approached the village they met two small groups of young people who were not drunk but unnaturally exited.They held hammers, big dumb-bells, metal crow-bars and sticks. Two of them politely greeted the group, and one said gaily, “Your houses are finished.

Four big busses with toned windows and two cars of ambulance were parked at the entrance of the village in the grove. 30-40 policemen stood by the houses, and 20-30 people in civil clothes includingthe leaders of the district with the Hakim, the head of local executiveauthority stood on the street, watching the demolition.

It was snowing. Residents’ household stuff such as mattresses, blankets,utensils cookware, and furniture were laying outside on the lawns by their houses. People in construction outfits (labor people) got inside the houses and started crushing windows and doors, destroyingwalls. The bulldozer was demolishing the buildings and the big stone fencing with cast iron openwork lattice which separated the houses from the driving area.

A small group of inhabitants (20-30 people, mostly women) did not offerphysical resistance. One of the women felt dizzy, fell down and was picked up by the ambulance. Police was bringing down thosefew (basically women) who tried to interfere with the destruction of their property. Two men tried to prevent the entrance of destroyers into a house, but were brought down by 15 policemen who twisted their hands and took them away to the police car.

During all these events none of the representatives from the Office ofPublic Prosecutor were present at the place of the event, even though both Krishna people and legal service people demanded meeting with representatives of the Office of Public Prosecutor who are obligated to be present during this type of actions.

The Hakim of the Yetisu district who was personally responsible for thisaction noticed A. Grishin photographing the destruction of the houses using a digital camera and commanded the policemen to detainhim. A. Grishin is an officer of the Human Rights Bureau and a journalist.

To avoid confiscation of the camera A. Grishin tried to escape. He ran away by 200 meters and was caught by the police. Police officers confiscated his digital camera and took away his journalist certificate.

Then he was let free, but police refused to return the camera, saying that they would give it to the Hakim. The camera was indeed found in the car of the Hakim, but the flash card and the batteries wereconfiscated. When Grishin approached the Hakim to find out for whatreason his camera and his journalist ID were confiscated, the Hakim told in front of the witnesses, “If I see you here again, I will personally crash Your eyes, even though I am the Hakim.”

No one of the policemen, who took part in the camera and ID confiscation,wanted to reveal their names.

Ms. Fokina was able to talk with the assistant of the General prosecutor I. Bakhtibayev, who did confirm that he would contact the prosecutor of the province and he would work out this situation.

The envoy of human rights E. Baikadamov, who was also contacted, said that the president of the Court Administration Committee Z. Makashev confirmed that he would contact immediately the provincial department and would give the appropriate instructions.

All the attempts of the representatives of the human rights organizations to find the people in charge of the operation and givethem any information were unsuccessful.

All the present officials refused to speak and declared that they were not responsible for the action. The Police colonels would point at bailiffs. The bailiffs did not confirm their being bailiffs.

The OSCE representatives in Almaty Eugenia Benigni and Lisa Zhumakhmetovadid not make it to the village. Their car just was stoped by police.

When the darkness fell, at around 6 pm, everything was finished: 13 houses destroyed, people thrown to the snowbound street, the village left without electricity, without heat and water.

The condition of the witnesses can be described as shock. The condition of the people who were thrown from their destroyed houses to the dirt and snow cannot be described.

When all the 13 buildings were destroyed as was planned … while theadjacent houses of other people who do not belong to the Society for Krishna Consciousness were left untouched even though theirtitle deeds have the same status … the bailiffs decided to give aninterview to the TV channel “to avoid one-sided opinion.” However no one of them introduced himself. The only thing they could say, “we are executing the court decision.”

Neither the Hakim, nor the police chiefs, nor the bailiffs would listen to the arguments that the governmental commission established to solve the issue around the Society for Krishna Consciousness has not yet come to final decision.

Notice: the notifications of eviction and demolition of the 13 houses owned by members of the cottage cooperative, who are the members of the religious organization Society for Krishna Consciousness, weredelivered to the watchman of Sri Vrindavan Dham in the evening ofNovember 20. The date of execution and the period for evacuating the buildings were not stated. It should be noted that the acting Kazakh law does not stipulate such a kind of eviction as the demolition of houses, and the eviction should be accompanied by the inventory of property removed from the evacuated building, while the storage of this property should be provided is necessary.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Hare_Krishna_village_demolished_in_Kazakhstan,_religious_persecution_alleged&oldid=1371837”