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Supporter Of Jailed Kazakh Rights Activist Arrested


Andrei Sviridov is arrested on September 16 for protesting Yevgeny Zhovtis's jailing.

Andrei Sviridov is arrested on September 16 for protesting Yevgeny Zhovtis's jailing.

ALMATY -- Kazakh journalist Andrei Sviridov has been arrested in Almaty after holding a public action in support of human rights activist Yevgeny Zhovtis, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Sviridov said he was following up on the public action by journalist Viktor Kovtunovsky titled "Today -- Zhovtis, Tomorrow -- You!" that was staged on Almaty's central square on September 16.

Kovtunovsky was fined about $213 for holding an unsanctioned public action.

On September 14 and 16, protesters held rallies in support of Zhovtis in front of the Kazakh embassies in Moscow and Warsaw, respectively. Kyrgyz opposition activists also held a rally in support of Zhovtis in front of the Kazakh Embassy in Bishkek on September 16.

Bureau for Human Rights director Zhovtis was sentenced to four years in prison for his role in a deadly traffic accident in July.

The United States, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and Human Rights Watch have called on the Kazakh authorities to cancel or revise Zhovtis's sentence, which they consider unfair.
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