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Kazakhstan: Jailed Opposition Leader Refused Parole

A jailed opposition leader in Kazakhstan whose case has drawn expressions of concern from Washington and Europe is to remain behind bars after his parole bid was rejected.

Vladimir Kozlov’s application for release from custody was rejected on December 8 at a hearing in the jail outside Almaty where he is being held, his lawyer Aiman Umarova said in postings on her Facebook page.  Umarova complained in her post of the judge’s “negative attitude” to Kozlov during the hearing.

Kozlov had exercised his legal right to file for parole after serving half of his seven-and-a-half-year jail term on charges of inciting violence in the western oil town of Zhanaozen in 2011.

He was also found guilty of seeking to use the unrest in Zhanaozen to overthrow President Nursultan Nazarbayev in the capital, Astana, some 2,600 kilometers away.

Speaking at the parole hearing, to which journalists and human rights campaigners were not admitted, Kozlov denied committing any crimes.

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Kazakhstan: Jailed Opposition Leader Refused Parole

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