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Kazakh Court Upholds Parole Restrictions On Activist

Maks Boqaev (right) with his lawyer attending a court hearing in the Atyrau region on January 28.

ATYRAU, Kazakhstan -- A court in Kazakhstan has upheld a three-year parole restriction on Kazakh activist Maks Boqaev upon his expected release from prison on February 4.

The Atyrau City Court in the country's west on January 29 rejected Boqaev's appeal, saying "the hearing did not find grounds to consider that Maks Boqaev's rights and interests had been violated by the lower court's decision."

Boqaev disputed the lower court's January 22 decision to impose restrictions on him after his release next week, calling the move politically motivated.

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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