HRW urges fair trial for Kazakh rights activist

ALMATY Tue Sep 1, 2009 5:39pm IST

Related Topics

ALMATY (Reuters) - Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday urged Kazakhstan to ensure a fair trial for a prominent rights activist accused of manslaughter, saying it feared political interference.

Human rights campaigner Yevgeny Zhovtis will go on trial this week following a car accident last month in which he hit a pedestrian who later died. He faces up to five years in jail if found guilty of violating traffic regulations.

"The government's past harassment of its critics and its handling of the case thus far raise concerns that it could be used for political purposes," HRW said in a statement.

The 54-year-old has often criticised the Kazakh government and "has influenced international policy towards Kazakhstan", HRW quoted its Central Asia researcher Andrea Berg as saying.

An Interior Ministry spokesman said last month that investigators in Zhovtis's case believed he could have avoided hitting the man, who was walking on the highway.

Kazakh opposition has on a number of occasions accused the government of using trumped-up charges to jail or silence the critics and opponents of President Nursultan Nazarbayev who has run the country since 1989. The government denies these charges.

FILED UNDER:

Reuters Showcase

Sahara Saga

Sahara Saga

Some staff say Sahara has not paid salaries for months   Read 

Jihadi John

Jihadi John

British PM Cameron vows to hunt down 'Jihadi John'   Full Article 

Economic Survey

Economic Survey

India in "sweet spot" of lower deficits, more growth - Economic Survey.  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Ab Tak Chhappan 2" is a futile film: Shilpa Jamkhandikar  Full Article 

DLF Penalty

DLF Penalty

DLF says reviewing $8.4 million SEBI penalty.  Full Article 

Fresh Charges

Fresh Charges

Canadian woman accuses Bikram yoga founder of sexual assault.  Full Article 

Maid Abuse Case

Maid Abuse Case

Hong Kong woman jailed for six years for abusing Indonesian maid.  Full Article 

World Cup 2015

World Cup 2015

Full coverage of cricket world cup in Australia and New Zealand.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage