ALMATY -- Kazakh authorities have arrested a prominent opposition theater director on charges linked to the deadly unrest last year in the western town of Zhanaozen.
Director Bolat Atabaev told RFE/RL by phone that he was taken on June 15 to the National Security Committee detention center in Almaty.
Atabaev has been charged with "inciting social hatred" in connection with last year's protests by striking oil workers in Zhanaozen, where police shot dead at least 16 people in mid-December.
Atabaev had refused earlier this week to submit to questioning by National Security Committee officers.
In March, Atabaev premiered a play that indirectly addressed the Zhanaozen events.
Atabaev is scheduled in August to receive Germany's Goethe Medal, an official decoration honoring non-Germans, for his contribution to cooperation between the German and Kazakh theaters.