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Kazakh Flash-Mob Participant Fined For Illegal Rally

Rozlana Taukina, the head of Kazakh NGO Journalists in Trouble
An Almaty court today ordered Rozlana Taukina, the head of the nongovernmental organization Journalists in Trouble, to pay a fine of some $500 for violating the law on holding rallies, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Taukina told RFE/RL that the prosecutor demanded a five-day jail term, but the judge decreased the penalty.

On January 6, Taukina, Raushan Esergepova, and Alga opposition group leader Vladimir Kozlov participated in a flash-mob protest in central Almaty under the banner "Freedom for journalists convicted for their professional activities."

The rally was in support of jailed journalists, including Esergepova's husband Ramazan Esergepov, the editor of "Alma-Ata Info" newspaper; "Vremya" newspaper correspondent Tohniyaz Kuchukov; writer Alpamys Bekturganov; and "Law and Justice" editor in chief Tokbergen Abiev.

Kozlov was earlier ordered by the court to pay a fine of about $50.