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Trial Of Kazakh Land-Reform Protesters Adjourned

Max Boqaev (left) and Talghat Ayan in an Atyrau courtroom on October 18.

The trial of two participants in a mass protest against Kazakhstan's land reforms has been adjourned.

A court in the western city of Atyrau adjourned the trial for an indefinite time on October 19 after one of the defendants, Maks Boqaev, was unable to attend a court hearing due to health problems.

The trial against Boqaev and Talghat Ayan started on October 12. The two are charged with inciting social discord, intentionally distributing false information, and organizing illegal public gatherings.

Boqaev and Ayan were detained on April 24 in the center of Atyrau, where thousands of people had gathered to protest against a bill on land privatization and land leasing to foreigners.

The protests in Atyrau were followed by mass protests across Kazakhstan for almost two weeks.

The protesters expressed concern that the bill would allow foreigners to own farmland in Kazakhstan.

Rights watchdogs have called on Kazakh authorities to release Boqaev and Ayan, saying they have a right to express their views publicly.

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