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Kazakhstan: Activist Absolved of Charges over Fatal Unrest

A prominent activist who was declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International has been released from jail in Kazakhstan, absolved of charges of inciting fatal unrest in Zhanaozen last year and calling for the overthrow of the state.

Bolat Atabayev, an outspoken theater director, told a press conference in Almaty on July 4 that he was released from prison the previous evening after signing a document stating that he had repented.

“In this document I had to answer some questions, basically of this type: ‘Had you known that blood would be spilled on December 16, would you have gone to Zhanaozen?’” Atabayev was quoted as saying by the Novosti-Kazakhstan news agency. “I say: ‘Had I known, I would not have gone.’”

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Kazakhstan: Activist Absolved of Charges over Fatal Unrest

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