Head of Hare Krishna community tells of unjust proceedings by the Kazakhstan Supreme Court
The head of the Hare Krishna community in Kazakhstan, His Holiness B.B. Govinda Swami, has issued this statement:
With the judgment passed by the Republic of Kazakhstan Supreme Court on May 8, 2007, the land of the Hare Krishna community in Almaty province may be confiscated in favor of the government at any moment.
The Supreme Court reversed its own judgment made on June 30, 2005, which had enabled the community to use 116 acres of land and receive the right of ownership after processing of relevant documents by the registering bodies of the Karasai district. These bodies have never registered the plots in favor of the RO [religious organization] Society for Krishna Consciousness because the land was arrested by the Karasai District Court at the request of the local Hakim.
The chairman of the RO Society for Krishna Consciousness explained to the Panel of the Supreme Court that the religious organization had never been informed of the proceedings. Furthermore, the courts of the first and second instance did not even take the trouble to send their decisions to the defendant, i.e. the religious organization.
The chairman of the RO requested the court to postpone the hearing, as she needed time to study the case and invite lawyers. However, the court decided to conduct the hearing immediately and only gave the RO chairman a few hours to study the rulings of the courts of the first and second instances. Thus the defendant was left without legal protection, unable to retain an attorney.
During the hearing the RO chairman again demanded that the court session should be postponed for her to have time to retain an attorney and properly study the case. However, the Civil Panel of the Supreme Court dismissed this motion and decided to reverse its own judgment of June 30, 2005, which had given the right of land use to the Society for Krishna Consciousness.
The judgment of the Supreme Court came into force from the moment it was read. This means that at any moment the land of the main center of the RO Society for Krishna Consciousness can be confiscated and transferred to the Karasai district land reserve.
The conflict around the community has been going on since 2004. At that time the administration of the Karasai district started a series of trials against the members of the Hare Krishna community. As a result of these trials, 13 homes of the faithful were demolished last November.
In March of 2007 the government of Kazakhstan showed an intention to resolve the conflict by way of negotiation with the community and declared the situation to be the result of bad governance by the local authorities. However, till the present moment no practical steps have been taken by the government to resolve the situation.
Thirteen more houses of the faithful may be demolished at any moment. With this court judgment, any day the faithful may be forced to vacate the land wherein the Society is registered. Fifty faithful and thirty cows will be left roofless. Their temple will cease to exist. And the loss of the legal address actually means that the Society for Krishna Consciousness will be liquidated in Almaty province.
Visit www.kazakhkrishna.com to learn more about the tragedy of the Krishna community in Kazakhstan.
See a video on YouTube about the tragedy.