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Kazakh Activists Fined For Unsanctioned 'Protest'

ALMATY -- An Almaty court has found two leading activists of the Housing for People movement guilty of organizing an unsanctioned protest and fined them 10 minimum monthly salaries.

Elmira Iskakova and Nikolai Komarov say they did not organize a protest but simply handed their petition to officials responsible for rescuing troubled mortgages.

On March 11, they led a group of citizens either facing foreclosures or waiting for their homes to be built who gathered in Almaty and handed over a petition.

Lawyer Denis Alimbekov, who represented Iskakova and Komarov, told RFE/RL's Kazakh Service that the gathering could be defined as illegal only if police or officials ask the protesters to disperse.

Alimbekov said that did not happen and the verdict should be changed.