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Kazakh Rights Defender Starts Hunger Strike In Jail


Vadim Kuramshin

Jailed Kazakh human rights activist Vadim Kuramshin has started a hunger strike to demand a review of his case.

Kuramshin's mother, Olga Koltunova, told RFE/RL that her son began the hunger strike on September 22 at the penal colony in northern Kazakhstan where he is being held.

Kuramshin is known for his efforts to raise awareness of violations of inmates' rights in Kazakh penitentiaries, including the one where he is now incarcerated.

He was sentenced to 12 years in prison in December 2012 in an extortion conviction that his supporters said was politically motivated.

Last December, Kuramshin was awarded the prestigious Ludovic-Trarieux international human rights prize.

The first Ludovic-Trarieux prize was awarded to South Africa's Nelson Mandela in 1985, during his imprisonment.

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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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