A young mother with her newborn baby, photographed from outside her window as Kazakh police break down her door and prepare to demolish her home.
On March 25, 2008 the directors of the Krishna Society were summoned to a meeting organized by the Hakim of Almaty Province. The subject of the meeting was the imminent eviction of the Religious Organization Society for Krishna Consciousness from their property in Karasai District.
The Krishna organization was given a period of one week to accept the government demands to vacate their developed 116 acre farm. The proposed alternative is a 5-acre plot of undeveloped land in the wilds of Talgar district. The proposed site is further from Almaty city than their current location.
The Krishna Society was informed that if does not accept these conditions, within one week, that the officers of GASK (the State Architectural and Construction Board), will open a lawsuit to demolish the Krishna Society's existing temple and barn.
The Krishna Society's project near Almaty is a unique spiritual center for Kazakhstan and the entire CIS. It serves as the cultural center for the followers of the Krishna faith in Central Asia.
The three-year prosecution against the Society has resulted in the demolition of 26 homes of the faithful. The Society's 116-acre farmland has been confiscated and returned to the Kazakh Government Land Reserve.
During the meeting on March 25th it was announced that the confiscated land would be subdivided and sold by the government for private villas.
The religious organization will be liquidated when it loses its current legal address. The followers of the Krishna belief will be deprived of the opportunity to practice their religion collectively, which is the main component of freedom of conscience and faith.
A fair and reasonable solution to this conflict would underline Kazakhstan's commitment in upholding international commitments to human rights, religious tolerance and ethnic amity. But in this case there is no element of fairness to be found.
For more information visit www.kazakhkrishna.com