(Astana, Kazakhstan—March 11, 2019) A Kazakh court sentenced the founder of a human rights group to two months’ house arrest today, according to a report from the Associated Press.
Serikzhan Bilash originally went missing from his hotel room in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Sunday and was accused of souring the relationship between China and Kazakhstan, conducting an “illegal” group, and “inciting ethnic hatred.”
However, the organization he founded, AtaJurt, has attempted repeatedly to register with the government but has been refused, said a RadioFreeEurope Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) report. The group routinely assisted victims of China’s persecution of Kazakh and other ethnic minorities living in Xinjiang, leading the Chinese government to mobilize its sympathizers in Kazakhstan to accuse Bilash.
On Feb. 13, he was also fined 252,000 tenges, which is about $670 USD, on account of his activism, according to the RFE/RL article.
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