Moscow, April 18 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Police in Kazakhstan have launched a criminal investigation into a report about a group of men using the national flag to collect garbage.
The incident occurred in the western city of Aktyrau last week. It was reported to a newspaper by a woman who recorded it on her mobile phone. The woman said she believed the offenders were foreign nationals.
A police spokeswoman said a criminal case has been opened against the men over the desecration of the national flag. They face a fine or a prison term of up to one year if found guilty.
Recently, there have been several scandals involving the Kazakh national anthem.
In March, Ricky Martin's hit "Livin' la Vida Loca" was played at a ski festival in Kostanay city in place of the Kazakh national anthem. The director of the sports school that organised the event was fired.
A few days later, a parody on the Kazakh anthem was played during a target shooting competition awards ceremony in Kuwait. It turned out that the organisers downloaded an incorrect sound track from a 2006 comedy film "Borat", depicting a Kazakh journalist travelling to the US. The film starred British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.