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Supporters Of Jailed Kazakh Activist Says Case Politically Motivated

A supporter of Yevgeny Zhovtis protests in October.
A supporter of Yevgeny Zhovtis protests in October.
Supporters of leading Kazakh human rights activist Yevgeny Zhovtis say his case is politically motivated, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Yevgeny Zhovtis, the director of the Almaty-based Kazakh Bureau for Human Rights, was sentenced to four years in jail in September for his role in a deadly traffic accident.

His lawyers and prominent independent journalist Sergei Duvanov said on Novmber 10 in Almaty that the behavior of Kazakh authorities proves the political character of the verdict against Zhovtis.

They point out that a Kazakh Supreme Court judge told the weekly "Vremya" in Almaty recently that he did not read Zhovtis's verdict but still commented that it was correct.

They added that Kazakh authorities made several political statements recently while stating that Zhovtis's case was not politically motivated.

They also said that Zhovtis's imprisonment in a remoite province in northeastern Kazakhstan -- more than 1,300 kilometers from his native Almaty -- also shows that the authorities are trying to "punish him for his professional activities."