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Kazakhstan-Update: Mr Bolat Atabayev released and charges against him dropped
Mr Bolat Atabayev, a human rights defender and prominent theatre director, was released in Aktau on 3 July 2012, where he was taken after being arrested in Almaty on 15 June 2012.
The charges against Bolat Atabayev under Articles 164.3 and 170.2 of the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan for “incitement of social enmity” and “exhortation for the forcible overthrow or change of the constitutional order” were dropped and his status in the criminal case opened in January 2012 was changed from “accused” to “witness”.
Front Line Defenders welcomes the release of and the dropping of charges against Bolat Atabayev. We urge the Kazakh authorities to ensure that all human rights defenders in Kazakhstan are able to work freely without fear of repression, including judicial harassment. We also call upon the authorities to reconsider the court sentence handed down to Ms Roza Tuletaeva, a public relations representative of the Zhanaozen oil strikers, who was sentenced for performing her legitimate human rights activities. Roza Tuletaeva, mother of a large family, reported being tortured during her detention and was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment.
For further information, please see Front Line Defender's urgent appeal dated 2 July 2012 (Kazakhstan: Ill-treatment of detained human rights defender Mr Bolat Atabayev HERE).
For further information on Roza Tuletaeva please see Front Line Defender's urgent appeals dated 16 January 2012 and 26 April 2012 (Kazakhstan: Arrest and detention of labour rights defender Ms Roza TuletaevaHERE and Kazakhstan: HRD Ms Roza Tuletaeva provides testimony she was tortured while in detention, concerns over fair trial continue HERE).
You can find additional information on the situation for human rights defenders in Kazakhstan. HERE