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Two Kazakh Opposition Figures Facing Additional Charges

Vladimir Kozlov
Reports say Kazakh authorities may hit two prominent opposition leaders with additional charges that could result in years more jail time.

According to their relatives, Vladimir Kozlov, leader of the unregistered opposition party Algha (Forward), and activist Serik Saparghali now face charges of using mass media to forcefully change the Kazakh constitutional order and forming a criminal organization.

The report says they could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted on these charges.

Both men are already facing charges of inciting social hatred.

They were arrested in January after they visited the southwestern town of Zhanaozen, where security forces shot dead at least 16 demonstrators in mid-December.

Both deny the charges, saying their cases are politically motivated attacks on opponents of President Nursultan Nazarbaev's government.

With reporting by AP