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Sentences In Kazakh Riot Case Reduced

Soldiers man a checkpoint outside the village of Shetpe in December.
ASTANA -- Kazakhstan's Supreme Court has reduced the sentences of three men convicted for their roles in a high-profile violent mass protest in the western town of Shetpe in December 2011.

Four local men were sentenced over the protest to jail terms of between four and seven years in May 2012.

One of the convicts was released on January 15; another saw his seven-year sentence reduced to four years; while the sentence of the third was shortened from five to three years.

The fourth man's four-year sentence was upheld.

The demonstration in Shetpe, where at least one protester was shot dead by police, was in protest against a deadly crackdown in the nearby oil town of Zhanaozen, where security forces shot dead at least 16 protesters.
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