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Court Upholds Kazakh Activist's Conviction For Criticizing Coronavirus Response

Alnur Ilyashev (file photo)

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- A Kazakh court has upheld the conviction and sentencing of an activist found guilty of spreading “false information” about the coronavirus.

The Almaty city court on September 15 upheld a decision by a lower court to sentence Alnur Ilyashev to three years of restricted freedom, a parolelike limitation, and ban him from social or political activism for five years.

Ilyashev was detained on April 17 after he wrote on Facebook that authorities in Kazakhstan, including those in the ruling Nur Otan party, have been corrupt and incompetent in their response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The 43-year-old activist spent more than two months in custody before being released after the initial court verdict was handed down in June.

Amnesty International slammed the sentence as “absurd” and as a sign that the government is not tolerating criticism.

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