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Kazakh Opposition Protests Arrests

Kazakh opposition leader Vladimir Kozlov

Kazakh opposition leader Vladimir Kozlov

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazakhstan's opposition has issued a new call for the country’s leadership to halt “political repression.”

A series of raids by security services in Almaty on January 23 resulted in the arrest of Vladimir Kozlov, the leader of the unregistered opposition Algha (Forward) party, and Igor Vinyavsky, the editor of the “Vzglyad” independent newspaper.

Officials say the raids were connected to investigations into unrest in the western city of Zhanaozen on December 16, which resulted in several fatalities.

In a statement signed by more than 30 of its members, the All-National Social Democratic Party (OSDP) said on January 24 that the authorities were using the violence as an excuse to crack down on the opposition in the wake of a January 15 parliamentary elections.

based on agency and RFE/RL reports