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Bolat Atabayev


He is considered as one of the most prominent figures of modern art. In Kazakhstan. He is an activist of the 'Khalyk Maidany' ('People's Front') movement.


  On the 3rd of February, 2012, he  was charged under two articles of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan: Article 164 - 'inciting social hatred', and Article 170 - 'calling for the violent overthrow of the constitutional order of the state'. 


On the 3rd of July, 2012, he was released after an active campaign in his support by the international community, in particular Germany (he was transferred from the group of 'accused' to the group of 'witnesses'). 


In August 2012 he was awarded the Goethe Prize for his contribution to the development of culture and the German language in Kazakhstan.


Zhanbolat Mamay


He is an journalist and leader of the Youth Organisation 'Rukh Pen Til'. The organisation under his leadership supported postulates of the striking workers in Zhanaozen. From the 15th of June, 2012 to the 12th of July, 2012 he was remanded in the pre-trial detention centre.


Organisation 'Reporters without Borders' and the Federation of Italian Journalists spoke in defence of the 24-year old reporter. On the 12th of July, 2012, he was transferred from the group of 'defendants' to the group of 'witnesses'.


Roza Tuletayeva


In May 2011, she was dismissed for the participation in the strike of oil workers in Zhanaozen. On the 3rd of January, 2012, she was arrested on suspicion of organising 'mass disturbances' in December 2011.


In April, 2012, when giving her testimony before the court, Roza Tuletayeva announced that during interrogation torture was exterted on her: she was hung by the hair, strangled with  a refuse bag and her colon was suppresed with a metal rod.


She was also threatened that investigators "could break her 14-year old daughter's life". The court refused to open the case on the basis of her testimony of torture. On the 4th of June, she was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment.


On the 6th of August, 2012, the Appellate Court  reduced the sentence to five years in prison - possibly for her giving testimony against Vladimir Kozlov.


Natalia Sokolova


She is the lawyer of the Labour Union of the Karazhanbasmunai Company. She actively participated in the struggle to increase salaries for oil workers.


She was arrested at the beginning of the strike, on the  25th of May, 2011.
She was subsequently sentenced to 6 years in the penal colony under Art. 164 paragraph 3 and Article 334 paragraph 2 for "inciting social hatred" and 'violation of the order by organising illegal meetings, pickets, street marches and demonstrations'.


Human Rights Watch, among other organisations, made a statement in her defence. In March, 2012, she was transferred to house arrest, and her sentence was reduced to three years. 

The freedom of speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

George Washington
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