A group of protesters who did not look like Kazakhstan citizens were waiting for Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and his delegation before the Austrian Economic Chamber of Commerce (WKO), calling the attention of the journalists present at the event and the public passing by. The group was chanting and calling Nazarbayev a dictator for whom there is no place in Austria, and protesting the abuses against human rights of his regime.
The protesters blamed Austrian companies for signing and expanding trade cooperation and economic agreements with the Kazakh regime. They were very angry and led a campaign against President Nazarbayev during his two days of visit to Austria.
Among the protesters was an angry Austrian woman who was accredited as a journalist to attend the event at the commerce chamber. When the two presidents, Fischer and Nazarbayev, arrived at the entrance of WKO, the woman took out a banner hidden in her bag and started yelling at them loudly.
“Austrian companies signed cooperation agreements with the dictator of Kazakhstan” was written on the sign of the woman. The Austrian security immediately escorted this “journalist” out of the lobby, a few seconds before the presidents entered the building, where presidents Fischer and Nazarbayev were supposed to shake hands with WKO president Dr. Christoph Leitl.
The behavior of the lady had as immediate effect that a few minutes after her appearance the whole building was surrounded and full of police special forces, and she offended the present journalists – the fact that she apparently got an accreditation as a journalist noticeably soured our relation with the press offices of the government and the WKO, and judging by the comments from the press office people, who may complicate things for journalists trying to work at government events in the foreseeable future.
This lady, who was seen earlier shouting on the street and demonstrating against the visit of president Nazarbajew in a democratic way, alienated the present journalists who in principle were with her and the small group of protesters, because of her abuse of press credentials. This, the media people present at the event, found unacceptable.