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Jailed Kazakh Rights Activist Complains Of Treatment

Human rights defender Yevgeny Zhovtis (file photo)
Human rights defender Yevgeny Zhovtis (file photo)
ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- A jailed Kazakh human rights activist says authorities are pressuring him, his wife, and his lawyer at the minimum-security labor camp in eastern Kazakhstan where he is serving a jail sentence, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Yevgeny Zhovtis, head of the Almaty-based Kazakh Bureau for Human Rights, today issued a statement saying that the labor camp administration is trying to isolate him from the outside world.

Zhovtis was sentenced last year to four years in a minimum-security labor camp in Oskemen for a traffic accident in which he killed a pedestrian.

Zhovtis said 100 of the 130 inmates in the camp work outside, but claimed that he is prevented for political reasons from leaving the camp's territory.

He said the labor camp administration does everything possible to prevent any exchange of information between himself and people outside the prison. He said his wife and his lawyer, Svetlana Vitkovskaya, undergo a "special search" every time they see him.

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