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Kazakh Youth Activist Released From Prison


Zhanbolat Mamay in January 2010
ALMATY -- Zhanbolat Mamay, an activist with the Rukh pen Til (Spirit and Language) youth movement, has been released from pretrial detention and allowed to fly back to Almaty.

Mamay was arrested on June 15, together with opposition politician and theater director Bolat Atabaev, on suspicion of "instigating social conflict" during a violent clash between police and protesters in the western town of Zhanaozen in December 2011.

At least 16 demonstrators were killed by police.

The men were held at a prison in Aqtau. Atabaev was released on July 3 after signing a letter of repentance.

Mamay's father, Mamay Bekhozhiev, speaking to RFE/RL, declined to provide details of his son's release.

He said everything will be explained at a press conference on July 13.
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