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Activist Jailed, Fined By Kazakh Authorities For Moscow Protest

Zhanbolat Mamai

Zhanbolat Mamai

AQTAU, Kazakhstan -- An opposition activist in the western Kazakh city of Aqtau has been jailed for 10 days for holding a protest outside the Kazakh Embassy in Moscow, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Zhanbolat Mamai, the leader of the Spirit and Language movement, was arrested in Aqtau late on August 16 after flying in from Moscow.

He had taken part in a protest at the Kazakh Embassy earlier that day to demand justice for striking oil workers in Aqtau.

Inga Imanbaeva, another opposition activist in Aqtau, told RFE/RL that along with the jail term, Mamai was fined $100 for "holding an unsanctioned public gathering."

Thousands of oil workers in the western province of Manghystau have been striking since May, demanding a salary raise, equal rights with foreign workers, the release of a jailed union lawyer, and that independent trade unions in the region be allowed to operate without restrictions.

Read more in Kazakh here