Videos supporting jailed Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny are receiving millions of views on TikTok, while other social-media platforms are also seeing a strong uptick in pro-Navalny content, including posts by popular celebrities. Interest has spiked since Navalny's arrest on January 17 and his release of a documentary about a palace allegedly owned by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Many posts are promoting protests planned for January 23 and call for Navalny's release, despite an unprecedented crackdown by security forces on leading opposition figures.
Friday 22 January 2021
ATYRAU, Kazakhstan -- A court in Kazakhstan has imposed a three-year parole restriction on Kazakh activist Maks Boqaev after his expected release on February 4.
Boqaev's lawyer Zhanar Sundetqalieva told RFE/RL that a court in the western city of Atyrau handed down its decision on January 22, adding that Boqaev rejected the move calling it politically motivated.
"Maks said he will appeal the ruling. He reiterated his stance that he is not guilty, and stressed that a number of rights organizations have found him to be a political prisoner," Sundetqalieva said.
The 48-year-old activist was arrested and sentenced to five years on extremism charges in 2016 after he organized unsanctioned protests against land reform in Atyrau.
The United States, European Union, and the United Nations have urged Kazakh authorities to release Boqaev.
Human rights organizations in Kazakhstan have recognized Boqaev as a political prisoner. Kazakhstan's government has insisted that there are no political prisoners in the country.
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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.