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Jailed Kazakh Activist On Hunger Strike


A police officer leads opposition activist Yermek Narymbaev to court in handcuffs.

A police officer leads opposition activist Yermek Narymbaev to court in handcuffs.

ALMATY -- The wife of jailed Kazakh activist Yermek Narymbaev says he has started a hunger strike, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Narymbaev, 40, is the leader of the opposition Arman (Dream) movement. He was one of the main coordinators of the "Nazarbaev, Step Down!" demonstration held on May 1 against President Nursultan Nazarbaev.

In June, he was found guilty of "showing disrespect for the court and resisting police" and sentenced to four years in prison.

On August 11, the Almaty Court of Appeals upheld the verdict.

Narymbaev's wife, Zoya Narymbaeva, told RFE/RL today that he went on hunger strike on August 20 to demand that the Almaty Court of Appeals review his appeal a second time, this time taking into account videotapes that he believes prove his innocence.

Narymbaeva also said that her husband was placed in solitary confinement on August 23.

Narymbaev's supporters say his case is politically motivated.
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