Accessibility links

Breaking News

Trial Of Kazakh Opposition Leaders Opens

Vladimir Kozlov, leader of the opposition Algha party
Vladimir Kozlov, leader of the opposition Algha party
AQTAU, Kazakhstan -- The trial of opposition leaders Vladimir Kozlov and Serik Saparghali and activist Akzhanat Aminov has begun in a regional court in Kazakhstan's western city of Aqtau.

Kozlov, who is the leader of the unregistered Algha (Forward) opposition party, and the others face charges of forming and leading an illegal group, inciting social hatred, and calling for the violent overthrow of the constitutional structure of Kazakhstan.

The charges are connected to last year's mass strike by oil workers in the western part of the country that ended in violence in December 2011 when 17 people were killed, most of them in the town of Zhanaozen.

Kozlov and the others claim the charges against them are politically motivated.

Visiting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake said in Almaty on August 15 that the United States will closely follow the Kozlov's fate.

Blake expressed hope that the trial is conducted fairly and does not set back democratic reforms in Kazakhstan.

With reporting by Interfax
  • 16x9 Image

    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service offers informed and accurate reporting in the Kazakh and Russian languages about issues that matter in Kazakhstan, while providing a dynamic platform for audience engagement and the free exchange of news and ideas.