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Kazakh Jailed For Journalist's Murder Ends Hunger Strike

Shalkar Orazalin, from a video of him sewing his mouth shut (see link below)
Shalkar Orazalin, from a video of him sewing his mouth shut (see link below)
ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- A Kazakh man convicted of murdering an independent Kyrgyz journalist has ended the hunger strike he started by sewing his mouth shut nearly two weeks ago, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Shalqar Orazalin was sentenced to 11 years in prison for his role in Gennady Pavlyuk's killing. His two co-defendants, former Kyrgyz security officer Aldayar Ismankulov and Kazakh citizen Almas Igilikov, were sentenced to 17 and 10 years in prison, respectively.

Pavlyuk, 51, died after being thrown from the sixth floor of a high-rise building in Almaty in December 2009 with his arms and legs bound.

Orazalin sewed his mouth shut on October 28 to protest his conviction and sentence.

Almaty detention center warden Manas Tuyaqbaev told RFE/RL that Orazalin agreed to stop his protest on November 9 after the center's officers talked to him. Tuyaqbaev said the stitches had been removed from Orazalin's lips and he was currently being treated by medical personnel.

Also on November 9, the lawyer for Orazalin's co-defendant, Ismankulov, told journalists in Almaty that her client planned to start a hunger strike to protest his sentence.

Read more in Kazakh here

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