A civic rights activist in Kazakhstan who once led the charge for political change has been sentenced to two years of limited freedom, marking the culmination of her downfall.
A court in Almaty’s Almaly district this week ruled to find 39-year old Olesya Khalabuzar guilty of “inciting ethnic hatred” and has placed the activist’s movements until strict control for the period of her sentence.
Khalabuzar had made a name for herself as one of Kazakhstan’s more principled activists until she was detained by police in February on suspicion of involvement in a protest movement against planned constitutional amendments regarding ownership of land.
But the more shocking development came some months later as Khalabuzar suddenly publicly recanted all her prior civic engagements and described the work of her Spravedlivost rights movement as “short-sighted” and “counterproductive,” and admitted to unspecified attempts to “blackmail government bodies.”
To read the full story