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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 February 2013

Kazakhstan: Vadim Kuramshin faces 12-year jail sentence after appeal denied

Vadim Kuramshin, campaigner for prisoner rights and member of the Socialist Movement Kazakhstan, faces a 12-year jail sentence from the brutal regime of dictatorial president Nursultan Nazerbayev. Campaign Kazakhstan reports on the latest assault on basic democratic rights.

The court in the city of Taraz, southern Kazakhstan, started and completed the appeal against the 12-year sentencing of Vadim Kuramshin.

The judge, Lyazzat Ramazanov, without any pretence of giving a fair hearing to Vadim, confirmed that the 12-year sentence should stay in place.

This is a complete travesty of justice. Vadim was originally tried on these charges during a seven-month jury trial ending in August last year.

Despite being put under huge pressure by the police and regime, the jury found Vadim innocent of all but one minor crime, for which he was sentenced to a one year conditional sentence and released.

He was, however, arrested again in December after the prosecutor appealed the sentence. The new sentence of 12 years was handed down in one day, and has now been confirmed by the appeal judge.

Apart from the clear breaches of procedure during the appeal, the arbitrary rejection of the original jury's decision, the threats to take disciplinary action against Vadim's defence solicitors etc, demonstrate that the Kazakhstan regime is doing everything to ensure that Vadim's voice is silenced.

www.campaignkazakhstan.org

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In The Socialist 20 February 2013:


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