[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Jail terms in Kazakhstan riot trial
Rights groups say the trial not conducted fairly as 13 people receive jail terms for December's riots.
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2012 20:55

A court in Kazakhstan has jailed more than a dozen people for mounting mass riots in a western oil town last year at the
end of a trial in the Central Asian nation.

Thirteen people were sentenced on Monday to between three and seven years in jail for their involvement in the unrest, during which at least 14 people died.

A further 16 people on trial were granted conditional sentences, five were granted amnesty and three were acquitted.

Al Jazeera's Robin Forestier-Walker, reporting from Aktau in Kazakhstan, said that rights groups have taken issue with how evidence was collected for the case.

"Human Rights Watch has strongly criticised the way this trial was conducted because of the numerous allegations of torture by the defendants and by the witnesses," he said.

The government said it has "given a good account of itself, that its been even-handed in its justice ... but many believe here that [the trial] has had a very political element to it, that anyone, effectively, who has dared to challenge this government, as happened back in December, can expect very severe consequences."

The unrest in Zhanaozen in December came after a seven-month-long occupation of the main square by oil workers demanding higher salaries. A confrontation with police descended into rioting.

Five policemen were jailed last month after being found to have exceeded their authority in deploying live rounds against rioters.

228

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.