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Jailed Kazakh Activist's Request For Early Release Rejected

Opposition activist Aidos Sadyqov
Opposition activist Aidos Sadyqov
AQTOBE, Kazakhstan -- A Kazakh opposition activist jailed on hooliganism charges has been turned down for early release, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

The administration of labor camp UK168/2 in the northwestern Aqtobe region rejected Aidos Sadyqov's request on October 19.

Sadyqov's wife, Natalya Eshchanova, told RFE/RL the camp administration ruled that Sadyqov cannot be released on parole because "he still considers himself not guilty and does not regret his misdeeds."

The administration also noted that Sadyqov had received an official reprimand for violating internal order in the camp.

Eshchanova pointed out, however, that the reprimand was issued on January 19 this year and, according to regulations, it should have been nullified six months later as her husband did not violate any other regulations during that time.

"So, Aidos's reprimand should have expired by July," Eshchanova said.

Labor camp officials and officials at the Aqtobe Oblast Committee to Monitor Penitentiaries declined to comment to RFE/RL on the status of the reprimand.

Sadyqov was found guilty in July 2010 of hooliganism and resisting police and sentenced to two years in jail. That verdict was upheld in August 2010 by a court in Aqtobe Oblast.

Sadyqov pleaded not guilty and insists his case is politically motivated. He says local officials in Aqtobe fabricated the case against him in retaliation for his open criticism of the regional government.

Two earlier requests by Sadyqov, in February and August 2011, for transfer to an open prison were similarly rejected.

Read more in Kazakh here