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Kazakh Activist Jailed For Pro-Ukraine Protest

Kazakh police speak with Makhambet Abzhan (right) outside the Russian Embassy in Astana on March 3.
ASTANA -- A Kazakh activist has been sentenced to seven days in jail for taking part in a pro-Ukrainian protest.

Makhambet Abzhan told RFE/RL by phone that a court in Astana found him guilty on March 11 of taking part in an unsanctioned protest last week in front of the Russian Embassy.

Abzhan was one of about a dozen protesters who picketed the Russian Embassy on March 3 against Russia's occupation of Ukraine's Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

Abzhan was holding a poster saying, "Yesterday, Abkhazia and South Ossetia; Today, Crimea; Tomorrow, Northern Kazakhstan."
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    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

    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."