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NHC welcomes release Kazakhstani human rights defender

17 February 2012

The Netherlands Helsinki Committee welcomes the release of Kazakhstani human rights defender Yevgeni Zhovtis, on 17 February of this year. The authorities of Kazakhstan have decided to release Zhovtis, as a court decision from 1 February to amnesty him entered into force.

Zhovtis, the founding director of Kazakhstan’s International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law, a partner of the Netherlands Helsinki Committee in Central Asia, was sentenced to four years in a settlement colony in September 2009 after being involved in a fatal traffic accident. Both the unfair trial and the excessive prison term Zhovtis had to serve seemed to be attempts to silence this leading human rights critic.

Read here the NHC appeal to the OSCE participating States in 2009 to address the case of Yevgeni Zhovtis as a matter of priority.