Life in Rural Kyrgyzstan
Kazakhstan|life|April 30, 2019 / 10:43 AM
Kazakh activist jailed for people-power banner citing constitution

AKIPRESS.COM - A Kazakh activist has been sentenced to five days in jail after hanging a big banner citing the constitution from a pedestrian bridge in Almaty, the tightly controlled country's largest city, amid tension over a snap election that will be held in June,RFE/RL reports.

Roman Zakharov was detained on April 29 after he affixed a banner that read "The only source of the state power is the people," a citation from Kazakhstan's constitution, to the bridge in the city center.

Zakharov was found guilty of minor hooliganism, namely "intentionally littering the city's public places," and sentenced to five days in jail.

Zakharov's jailing comes a day after a group of activists was detained in Nur-Sultan, the capital, after they rallied to support two other activists, Asiya Tulesova and Beibarys Tolymbekov, who are serving 15-day jail terms for unfurling banners in Almaty calling for a fair presidential election.

Kazakhstan is holding a snap election on June 9 following the resignation in March of Nursultan Nazarbaev, the authoritarian president who had led Kazakhstan since before it gained independence in the Soviet collapse of 1991.

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