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Kazakh Activists Fined For Protesting Website Ban

Demonstrators protest against Kazakhstan's Internet law in Almaty in June 2009.
An Almaty court has fined and warned two media activists, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

The court found Zhanna Baytelova and Irina Mednikova of the movement For Free Internet guilty of organizing an unsanctioned public gathering.

Baytelova was fined the equivalent of $190 while Mednikova was officially warned. The two said they planned to appeal the verdict.

The charges stem from the movement's protest in front of the Kazakhtelekom building in Almaty on April 21 to demand that it stop blocking access to the LiveJournal website and the online forum of the opposition newspaper "Respublika."

The protesters failed in their attempt to hand a petition calling for an end to the blocking of the websites to the chairman of Kazakhtelekom.