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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 May 2010

Socialist activist starts hunger strike

A LAW court in Almaty, Kazakhstan, has sentenced Ainur Kurmanov, leader of Socialist Resistance Kazakhstan (the Socialist Party's counterpart in Kazakhstan), to 14 days in jail. In court he was charged with "organising a picket" in front of a bank, Temir Bank, and given a maximum sentence of a fortnight imprisonment.

The picket was actually organised by the opposition social movement, 'Kazakhstan 2012', to protest over home repossessions. Ainur was not actually organising the picket but was there in his capacity as a journalist.

His possession of a dictaphone - a normal tool of the journalist's trade - was cited as 'evidence' against him! Ainur was also denied legal representation. The lawyer who represented Ainur previously has not been allowed to visit Ainur in jail.

Ainur has started a hunger strike in protest at his imprisonment. An appeal against Ainur's sentence is being made on his behalf by supporters and lawyers.

We appeal to all readers to immediately send protests to the nearest Kazakhstan Embassy and also to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), of which Kazakhstan holds the position of chair.

Ainur is a journalist but is being prevented by the regime from carrying out his work. The regime obviously fears open reporting of opposition social movements. We appeal to journalists' unions and progressive organisations everywhere to protest against Ainur's jailing.

The Kazakh regime is targeting socialists, trade unionists and community activists like Ainur who has been repeatedly arrested and jailed on false charges (see 'Kazakhstan: Farcical trial of socialist Ainur Kurmanov', socialistworld.net, 26/03/2010).

CWI reporters

Please send urgent protests to:

Almaty Procuror: www.prokuroralm.kz
Government (Akimat) of Almaty city: +7 (727) 271 65 79 press_center@a-a.kz to Ahmatjan Esimov, Governor (Akim) of Almaty
Kairat Mami, General Prosecutor or the Republic of Kazakhstan: akparat@prokuror.kz Fax: +7 717250-25-34
Please also send protests to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe:
OSCE Secretariat, Wallnerstrasse 6, 1010 Vienna, Austria, Tel: +43 1 514 36 6000, Fax: +43 1 514 36 6996,
www.osce.org/contacts/email.php?id=67
Please send copies of your protests to:
denver76-76@mail.ru and admin@socialismkz.info
The email address for the Kazakhstan embassy in Britain is
consulate@kazembassy.org.uk
and the ambassador's name is Mr Kairat Abusseitov.

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