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Member Of Public Commission Probing Kazakh Oil Town Clash Charged With Crime


Theater director Bolat Atabaev is a member of a public commission that's investigating the December 16 violence.

Theater director Bolat Atabaev is a member of a public commission that's investigating the December 16 violence.

A fifth Kazakh activist has been charged with "inciting social hatred" in the southwestern town of Zhanaozen, where at least 16 people were killed in clashes between police and protesting oil workers in mid-December.

The activist, Bolat Atabaev, is an Almaty-based theater director.

He is also a member of a public commission that was formed by several activists to investigate the Zhanaozen clashes.

Atabaev told RFE/RL he was summoned to the Committee of National Security headquarters in Almaty on February 2 and was instructed by officials not to leave Almaty because an investigation had been launched against him.

Atabaev is the fifth Kazakh activist charged with "inciting social hatred' in connection with investigations of the Zhanaozen violence.

If found guilty, he and other activists could face up to 10 years in prison.

National authorities lifted emergency law in the Zhanaozen area only this week.

Compiled from agency reports
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