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Kazakh Court Imposes Sentences For Extremism, Weapons


AQTOBE, Kazakhstan -- A court in northwestern Kazakhstan has sentenced two men to prison after convicting one of religious extremism and the other for illegal weapon possession.

On May 2, the Aqtobe City Court found Aibek Tanatarov, 28, guilty of calling for jihad -- what the court labeled a "war against infidels" -- and sentenced him to five years.

Eltai Eleuov, 22, received four years in prison for having an illegal weapon.

The two, who were arrested together in December, had pleaded not guilty.

Their lawyers say they will appeal.

In May 2011, a resident of Aqtobe carried out what was described as the first-ever suicide bombing in Kazakhstan.

A number of security operations against radical Islamists and trials of alleged religious extremists have been held in several towns and cities in Kazakhstan's west since then.
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    RFE/RL's Radio Azattyq has been an important source of information for people in Kazakhstan for decades. In 2009, Azattyq won the prestigious 2009 Online Journalism Award for "standing in defense of citizen’s rights to seek and receive information."

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