ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- The wife of jailed Kazakh opposition politician Zhanbolat Mamai has been fined after she was briefly detained and charged with violating the Central Asian nation's law on public gatherings.
A court in Almaty fined Inga Imanbai 91,800 tenges ($209) on May 4 after finding her guilty of the charge, which Imanbai told RFE/RL was politically motivated.
"I consider the court’s ruling as pressure being imposed on me, my husband, and the Democratic party ahead of our rally scheduled for May 7," Imanbai said.
Earlier in the day, Imanbai told RFE/RL that about a dozen police officers came to detain her when she was leaving a detention center in Almaty on May 4, where she had brought food to her husband.
"Police rejected my suggestion that I would come to the police station later with my lawyer. They forced me into their car and brought me to the Almaty district police department, where they told me that I was accused of breaking the law on public gatherings," Imanbai said, adding that the charge stemmed from a rally in front of a court in Almaty where she was demanding Mamai's release.
Mamai, the leader of the unregistered Democratic Party of Kazakhstan, was sentenced on February 25 for organizing an unsanctioned public event to commemorate the victims of January anti-government protests around Kazakhstan that claimed the lives of at least 230 people.
Mamai was expected to be released on March 12 after serving a 15-day jail term. However, he was not released and instead faced additional charges of insulting law enforcement officers and distributing "false information."
On March 14, a court in Almaty sent Mamai to pretrial detention for at least two months.
Mamai has been known for his harsh criticism of the nation's authoritarian government.
He has been trying to register the Democratic Party of Kazakhstan, but claims he is being prevented by the government, which he says only permits parties loyal to those holding political power to be legally registered.
Kazakhstan has been run by authoritarian President Nursultan Nazarbaev and his successor, Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev, since gaining its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Over the past three decades, several opposition figures have been killed and many have been jailed or forced to flee the Central Asian country.