Interfax, Feb. 12, 2003
Astana, 12 February: The Kazakh National Security Committee has banned the Aum Shinrikyo religious sect’s activities in Kyzyl-Orda Region in the country’s south.
“A Kazakh citizen, Vladimir Kamenev, 36, who is currently unemployed, was the sect’s founder and mastermind,” the committee’s press service told Interfax on Wednesday [12 February].
In 1996, Kamenev received training in one of the sect’s branches in Moscow. Back in Kazakhstan, he set up a group of four or five unemployed residents in Kyzyl-Orda and started to promote Aum Shinrikyo ideas under cover of yoga classes.
On 5 February, Kyzyl-Orda city court convicted Kamenev of violating the law on freedom of religion and religious organizations. “Kamenev received a warning, as he was not involved in any criminal activities,” the press service noted.