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Kazakhstan: Self-Immolation Death Renews Debate on Justice System

On the morning of December 14, a 48-year old woman in Astana, Maira Rysmanova, succumbed to injuries sustained after she set herself alight in a desperate protest in front of the General Prosecutor’s Office.

Rysmanova resorted to the gesture in a plea for a review into the case of her son, who she said had been unjustly prosecuted on drug possession charges.

The tragedy is fresh reminder of the deeply held conviction among many Kazakhstanis that the country’s courts operate arbitrarily and do not provide real justice to defendants.

Rysmanova was one of four women who walked up to the front entrance to the General Prosecutor’s Office on December 4. As she reached the spot, she removed her outer clothes, doused herself in gasoline and set fire to herself with a match. Guards quickly tried to put out the blaze and called an ambulance.

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Kazakhstan: Self-Immolation Death Renews Debate on Justice System

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