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An inmate of a maximum security penitentiary in Kazakhstan's northern Aqmola Oblast has maimed himself to protest being held in solitary confinement, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Aqmola Oblast Penitentiary Control Committee spokeswoman Irina Gornova told RFE/RL that Maksim Sklyar, one of the inmates in the prison in the town of Granitny, severely injured himself and was taken to Aqmola Oblast clinic for treatment.

Gornova did not specify the date of the incident. She said Sklyar tried to protest prison conditions in general, and being placed in solitary confinement in particular.

Gornova said Sklyar had been placed in solitary confinement on March 11 for "violating prison regime regulations."

Sklyar was jailed for six years in 2007 for violent robbery.

The Granitny prison gained notoriety last August when Interior Ministry special troops were sent in to quell a riot by prisoners. One prisoner was killed, a second died later in hospital, and more than 80 were injured.

The riot in Granitny took place after six inmates maimed themselves and were hospitalized.

There have been numerous cases of self-mutilation by prisoners in Kazakhstan in recent months. Kazakh human rights activists have urged the authorities to improve conditions in the prisons, where they say human rights are routinely abused.

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