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Kazakh Activist Fined For Soliciting Funds To Pay Fine To Ruling Party


Kazakh police detain Sanavar Zakirova in front of the Aziret Sultan Mosque in Nur-Sultan on November 22.

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- A Kazakh civil-rights activist has been briefly detained after asking worshipers outside a mosque in Almaty for money to help pay a fine to the ruling Nur-Otan party.

Sanavar Zakirova and three other women approached worshipers on November 22 outside the Aziret Sultan Mosque, explaining that they had to raise money to pay a fine to the Nur-Otan party that is led by former President Nursultan Nazarbaev.

Police detained the women and fined them the equivalent of $32 each for causing a public nuisance.

Zakirova and two other activists were found guilty by a court in Almaty on November 18 of distributing false information about the party over the Internet. They were ordered to pay the equivalent of $15,000 to the party. The defendants and their supporters insist the case was politically motivated.

Zakirova is well known for her political and civil-rights activities.

The authorities in Almaty denied her permission to hold a congress in March for a new political party, Our Right.

She was also one of the initiators and active participants of rallies in Almaty and Nur-Sultan, the capital, by residents of Kazakhstan's different regions, demanding revision of what they called "wrong court decisions" in various cases.

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    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

    RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service, established in 1953, operates out of bureaus in Kazakhstan’s capital city, Nur-Sultan, and in the largest city, Almaty, serving as an independent, alternative source of local, regional, and national news for millions of residents in a country where the government overwhelmingly seeks to control the press.

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