Kazakhstan's Regime Grows Impervious as it Jails Vladimir Kozlov

17-10-2012

The strike of oil workers in western Kazakhstan had continued for six months before being violently put down by authorities. At least 17 demonstrators were killed in the clashes. Charged with attempting to overthrow the government, Vladimir Kozlov was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison and his property was confiscated. Several international NGOs observed violations of due process in his trial. Governments and nongovernmental organisations have expressed reservations about Kozlov's prosecution and verdict. Their criticism has been refuted by the Kazakh authorities. Kozlov's trial points to a growing unease among Kazakh authorities regarding the opposition. Political opposition members face increasing repression, although strong international pressure has sometimes worked to release prominent individuals.

The strike of oil workers in western Kazakhstan had continued for six months before being violently put down by authorities. At least 17 demonstrators were killed in the clashes. Charged with attempting to overthrow the government, Vladimir Kozlov was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison and his property was confiscated. Several international NGOs observed violations of due process in his trial. Governments and nongovernmental organisations have expressed reservations about Kozlov's prosecution and verdict. Their criticism has been refuted by the Kazakh authorities. Kozlov's trial points to a growing unease among Kazakh authorities regarding the opposition. Political opposition members face increasing repression, although strong international pressure has sometimes worked to release prominent individuals.