Wed, 03 Mar 2021

ATYRAU, Kazakhstan -- A court in Kazakhstan has imposed a three-year parole restriction on Kazakh activist Maks Boqaev after his expected release on February 4.

Boqaev's lawyer Zhanar Sundetqalieva told RFE/RL that a court in the western city of Atyrau handed down its decision on January 22, adding that Boqaev rejected the move calling it politically motivated.

'Maks said he will appeal the ruling. He reiterated his stance that he is not guilty, and stressed that a number of rights organizations have found him to be a political prisoner,' Sundetqalieva said.

The 48-year-old activist was arrested and sentenced to five years on extremism charges in 2016 after he organized unsanctioned protests against land reform in Atyrau.

The United States, European Union, and the United Nations have urged Kazakh authorities to release Boqaev.

Human rights organizations in Kazakhstan have recognized Boqaev as a political prisoner. Kazakhstan's government has insisted that there are no political prisoners in the country.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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