Atabek's lawyer, Vasily Sadykov, told RFE/RL on December 5 that his client will be transferred soon from the Qarazhal maximum-security labor camp in central Kazakhstan to a minimum-security prison near Almaty, closer to his family.
Atabek had been transferred at least twice to even tougher prisons in Kazakhstan's north recently for his refusal to follow penitentiary regulations.
Amnesty International expressed concern about Atabek's long-term treatment in solitary confinement earlier this year.
Atabek, 60, who is a poet, was sentenced to 18 years in jail in 2007 for his role in organizing mass protests that resulted in the death of a police officer.
Atabek has maintained his innocence and rejected a government pardon in exchange for admitting his guilt.