Kazakhstan: Protesters demand release of jailed politicians, activists

NUR-SULTAN (TCA) — About 20 men and women rallied outside a building housing several European countries’ embassies in Kazakhstan’s capital, Nur-Sultan, demanding that the authorities immediately release jailed politicians and activists, RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service reported on August 12.

The demonstrators held a banner reading “Liberty to political prisoners!” and chanted “Freedom!”

They were calling for the release of the former head of the Kazatomprom national atomic company, Mukhtar Dzhakishev, dissident poet Aron Atabek, and civil rights activists Maks Bokaev, Almat Zhumaghulov, and Kenzhebek Abishev.

They also demanded the immediate release of several civil-rights and opposition activists who are currently under investigation for taking part in unsanctioned rallies and are either under house arrest or in pretrial detention.

One of the protesters, Maigul Sadyqova made a statement in English, saying: “These people are innocent, and they are being held behind bars for nothing. We demand their immediate release!”

In the last several weeks, rallies demanding the release of political prisoners have been held in several towns and cities across Kazakhstan.

Sergey Kwan

TCA

Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
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Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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