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Kazakh Victim Challenges 'Mild' Sentences For Convicted Rapists

NUR-SULTAN -- A woman who was raped while traveling on a train in Kazakhstan has challenged what she described as "mild" sentences issued against her two attackers.

At an August 12 gathering in Nur-Sultan focusing on the safety of women and children in public places, the woman said the punishment for rape in Kazakhstan "must be toughened."

The woman did not identify herself at the public meeting. She wore sunglasses, a hat, and a surgical mask that covered her face to protect her anonymity.

"If there were cameras on the train it would be quicker for me to prove that I was raped," the woman told the gathering.

She also complained that her request to authorities that her relatives and friends should not be informed about the September 2018 attack was ignored by investigators who subpoenaed her elderly parents for questioning.

On July 26, a court in the northern city of Kokshteau convicted and sentenced two men who worked as porters on charges of raping the woman passenger.

One man was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison. The other received a sentence of 27 months.

The attack received nationwide attention and sparked public outcry after details of the case were revealed by an anti-rape campaign in Kazakhstan called NeMolchiKZ -- Do Not Keep Silent.

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