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Jailed Kazakh Lawyer 'On Hunger Strike'

Yevgeny Tankov is serving a three-year sentence for "assaulting a judge." (file photo)

QARAGHANDY, Kazakhstan -- The mother of a Kazakh lawyer jailed for hitting a judge with a fly swatter says her son has been on hunger strike since January 13.

Yevgeny Tankov's mother, Valentina Tankova, told RFE/RL on February 12 that her son is demanding that inmates' rights are respected. This includes receiving proper meals, having access to information, and being allowed regular phone calls with relatives.

Tankov made headlines in March 2014 after he put a fly swatter on the desk of a judge during a trial in the Qaraghandy region. He then hit the judge on the head a few times with another swatter.

The lawyer said he offered the judge "a duel with fly swatters" to show that the justice system in Kazakhstan is "a joke."

Tankov was later found guilty of "assaulting a judge" and sentenced to three years in jail.

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