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Kazakh Activist Convicted Over Zhanaozen Protest Freed From Prison


An activist jailed on charges of organizing protests for oil workers' rights that eventually turned violent in Kazakhstan's southwestern town of Zhanaozen has been freed, according to a family member.

Roza Tuletaeva's daughter, Aliya, confirmed the information to RFE/RL's Kazakh Service on November 19.

Police shot dead at least 16 people during a crackdown on the long-running protest in Zhanaozen in December 2011.

Tuletaeva, a former employee of OzenMunaiGaz, was sentenced to seven years in prison in June 2012 before her sentence was reduced to five years.

In January, she was transferred to a minimum-security penal colony.

Dozens of other activists were sentenced to prison terms of between three and seven years.

International and domestic rights organizations condemned the violent dispersal of the oil workers, who were demanding the payment of overdue salaries.

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    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

    RFE/RL's Radio Azattyq has been an important source of information for people in Kazakhstan for decades. In 2009, Azattyq won the prestigious 2009 Online Journalism Award for "standing in defense of citizen’s rights to seek and receive information."

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