The Norwegian Helsinki Committee was disappointed to learn of the 7 ½ year prison sentence given to
– We are concerned at what we consider to be a major step backwards for political pluralism in
Kozlov has stood trial in the western city of Aktau since August of this year, accused of “inciting social discord,” “calling for the forcible overthrow of the constitutional order,” and “creating and leading an organized group with the aim of committing one or more crimes.” Two other defendants, Serik Sarpagali and Akzhanat Aminov, were given five- and four-year suspended sentences, respectively. The court also ordered the confiscation of Kozlov’s property.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee was among international observers following the trial. While open to outside monitors, the backdrop of the trial was deeply politicized. The government of Kazakhstan has sought to place the blame for the tragedy in Zhanaozen in December 2011 on the country’s marginalized opposition rather than on those who ordered and fired the shots that killed 16 protesting oil-workers.
Article 164 of