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World Bank's Jacques Bure accused of human rights violation in Kazakhstan

22 april 2011, 20:56
0
Photo courtesy of diapazon.kz
Photo courtesy of diapazon.kz
Members of the monitoring team accuse Jacques Bure, head of the World Bank's engineering department, of violating human rights in Kazakhstan, Tengrinews.kz reports.

As per the social activists, he deferred resolution of conflicts between South Kazakhstan residents and local authorities. The residents' lands were expropriated for construction of Western Europe - Western China, a major highway crossing Kazakhstan.

Leader of the monitoring team Baurzhan Issaliyev sent 20 letters to Bure listing specific complaints of the residents.

“There was no reaction from the World Bank's representative. I described the facts of human rights violations and Mr.Bure asked for time to reply to my letters. But now it turns out that he has only been temporizing. At the recent meeting with Jacques Bure I have found out that he felt no need to understand the details of the violations, because the bank has already approved the residents' relocation plan,” said Baurzhan Issaliyev.

Human rights activists are planning to apply to Inspection Panel of the World Bank and ask for the experts' inspection. As per the activists, there were too many violations in the first two years of construction.

The monitoring team already applied to the World Bank's Inspection Panel in the past. In the beginning of the project the activists expressed their claims related to ecological violations of the interests of Birlik village residents. After the NGO's interference the project was changed and ecological violations were eliminated.

The World Bank gave a loan for implementation of the road project.

On April 17 farmers of the South Kazakhstan oblast protested against construction of the Western Europe - Western China highway.

The villagers signed contracts to allow seizure of their lands for construction of the highway, but have still not receive the full compensation under the contract. Besides, they do not know which part of the lands they can till as the authorities have not defined the highway's borders yet.

This delimination should be done by the region's authorities, but only after the road authorities give them instructions.

The officials gave no comment on the activists' complains and the recent farmers' protest.

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