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Kazakhstan: Further information: Human rights defender facing bogus charges: Serikzhan Bilash

, Index number: EUR 57/0894/2019

Human rights defender Serikzhan Bilash is facing charges of “incitement of social, national, clan, race, class or religious hatred” which carry a penalty of up to seven years in prison. The first hearing was held on 29 July in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan’s capital city, and it was decided that the case would be transferred to the city of Almaty. Serikzhan Bilash, who had been under house arrest since 10 March in Nur-Sultan, was transferred on 15 August to his home in Almaty where he will remain under house arrest. Serikzhan Bilash is the leader of the human rights organisation Atajurt and is being prosecuted simply for defending the human rights of ethnic Kazakhs in China. He is a prisoner of conscience and should be immediately and unconditionally released.

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