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Kazakh Protest Leader Given 15-Day Sentence

ALMATY -- The leader of a protest held in Kazakhstan's largest city, Almaty, has been sentenced to 15 days in prison.

Ainur Kurmanov, the chairman of the unregistered Talmas (Persistence) movement, was arrested immediately after clashes between demonstrators and police in Almaty's central square on December 16.

He was an organizer of the gathering that commemorated the victims of the December 1986 violent dispersal of Kazakh students at a demonstration in Almaty, protested some unresolved housing issues, and demanded the government's resignation.