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Kazakh Activist’s Car Vandalized, Dog’s Head Left Inside

Kazakh activist Nurzhan Mukhammedov with his vandalized car in the background.
Kazakh activist Nurzhan Mukhammedov with his vandalized car in the background.

SHYMKENT, Kazakhstan -- A civil rights activist in Kazakhstan’s southern city of Shymkent says his car was vandalized by unidentified assailants who left a a severed dog’s head inside the vehicle.

Nurzhan Mukhammedov told RFE/RL that early on November 19 he found his car with a broken window and the word "mal" (animal) scribbled in red on the left side of the vehicle.

Mukhammedov also found a dead dog’s head inside it.

"They also wrote 'Lackey, Traitor' on my fence and two of my car's wheels were cut, apparently with a knife,” Mukhammedov said, adding that he suspects the incident has a connection with his civil-rights activism.

Mukhammedov filed a complaint with the local prosecutor’s office, which said that a probe was launched into what it called "hooliganism."

Mukhammedov has taken part in several protests in support of political prisoners, single mothers, and homeless people. He also took part in several rallies against China's growing economic presence in the country.

Mukhammedov was sentenced several times this year to short jail sentences.

Dead dogs and dog heads have been sent to independent Kazakh journalists in the past in apparent attempts to intimidate them.

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