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Kazakh Activists Call For Investigation Of Suspicious Car Accident

Yevgeny Zhovtis is one of Kazakhstan's leading human rights activists.
ALMATY -- Kazakh activists are calling on police to conduct an objective investigation into a deadly traffic accident that involved one of the country's leading human rights activists, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Yevgeny Zhovtis, director of the nongovernmental organization Human Rights Bureau, ran into a pedestrian and killed him earlier this week.

Zhovtis says he was returning home from a fishing trip when two cars on the other side of the road suddenly switched on their high-beam lights and someone appeared in front of his car. He says there was no time for him to stop the car before he hit the pedestrian.

Kazakh opposition members and activists have expressed their condolences to the relatives of the man who was killed in the accident. They also called on Kazakh authorities not to use the accident to put pressure on Zhovtis or undermine his reputation.

Zhovtis is known as Kazakhstan's most prominent human rights activist. He has been active recently in helping to protect the rights of relatives of the jailed former leaders of Kazakhstan's major uranium producing facility, Kazatomprom.