BISHKEK. Several Kyrgyz human rights campaigners, politicians and independent journalists today organized a picket in front of the Kazakh Embassy in Bishkek. They demanded Kazakh authorities release the jailed politicians Sergei Duvanov, Mukhtar Abliazov and Ghalymzhan Zhakiyanov.
A representative of the Embassy came to the picket organizers and received their statement promising to send it to Astana. He said that all the cases, including the one regarding the independent Kazakh journalist Duvanov, will be resolved only by the Kazakh court. According to Topchubek Turgunaliev, the leader of the "Erkindik" (Freedom) Party, the embassy representative told him the statement has been sent to Astana.
Meanwhile, An appeals court in Kazakhstan today upheld the conviction of journalist Sergei Duvanov, who was convicted on rape charges that supporters say were politically motivated.
The court in the town of Taldykorgan upheld the three-and-a-half year jail sentence imposed on Duvanov for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl. Duvanov's lawyers said they will appeal to Kazakhstan's Supreme Court to have the sentence overturned.