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Kazakh Opposition Leader Sentenced To Four Years In Jail


A police officer leads opposition activist Yermek Narymbaev to his sentencing in Almaty on June 22.

A police officer leads opposition activist Yermek Narymbaev to his sentencing in Almaty on June 22.

ALMATY -- The leader of the Almaty-based Arman (Dream) opposition movement has been sentenced to four years in jail, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Almaty's Bostandyk District Court found Yermek Narymbaev guilty on June 23 of "violently resisting" police and offending a judge in court.

Narymbaev was one of the organizers of the campaign "Nazarbaev Ket!" (Nazarbaev, Go Away!) and a hunger strike against President Nursultan Nazarbaev on May 1. He was sentenced to 15 days in jail on May 2 for holding an unsanctioned demonstration.

While serving his 15-day prison term, police charged him with violently resisting police and for attacking police. He was later charged with offending the judge during his trial on May 2.

Narymbaev's wife, Zoya Narymbaeva, and one of his colleagues, Zhasaral Kuanyshalin, also participated in the anti-Nazarbaev campaign. They say the charges against him are politically motivated.

Narymbaev was sentenced on his 40th birthday.
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