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Kazakh Convicted Of Kyrgyz Journalist's Murder Sews His Mouth Shut

Kazakh Murderer Sews Mouth In Protest
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WATCH: Shalqar Orazalin sews his mouth in protest at his murder conviction. (WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT)

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- One of three men jailed in Kazakhstan for killing a prominent Kyrgyz journalist has sewn his mouth shut in protest at his conviction, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Shalqar Orazalin, a Kazakh citizen, was sentenced on October 11 to 11 years in jail after being found guilty of the murder of journalist Gennady Pavlyuk.

Pavlyuk, 51, died after he was thrown from a high-rise building in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in December 2009 with his arms and legs bound.

Orazalin's two codefendants, former security service officer Aldayar Ismankulov, a Kyrgyz citizen, and Kazakh national Almas Igilikov, were also convicted and jailed for 17 and 10 years respectively.

Orazalin's lawyer, Aigul Erbolekova, and his wife, Gunai Orazalina, told RFE/RL that Orazalin sewed his mouth shut on October 28.

Erbolekova told RFE/RL that she has appealed her client's verdict. She said the court failed to prove Orazalin's involvement in Pavlyuk's murder.

The warden of Almaty detention center No.1, Manas Tuyaqbaev, declined to comment on Orazalin's reported protest.

Irina Yakubova, a spokeswoman for the Almaty Oblast Department for Monitoring Penitentiaries, confirmed to RFE/RL that Orazalin has started a hunger strike. Yakubova said the Prosecutor's office and the detention center administration have told Orazalin that his action will not bring any results, and that he should observe statutory procedures in appealing his verdict.

Read more in Kazakh here