Jail Term Prolonged For Kazakh Activist Who 'Had To Escape' Custody To Protest His Arrest

NUR-SULTAN -- A Kazakh civil-rights activist who said he "had to escape" from detention to protest his arrest, has not been released as his relatives and colleagues expected.

Dulat Aghadil's colleague, civil-rights activist Erbol Eskhozhin, told RFE/RL that when Aghadil's relatives and friends gathered in front of the detention center on November 21 to greet the activist, a detention center official told them that Aghadil's jail term had been prolonged by five days.

Aghadil was originally expected to be released on November 14, when he was expected to finish a 10-day jail term for refusing to obey police orders.

One day before his release, regional police announced that Aghadil had escaped custody, which prompted relatives and human rights activists to raise concerns over his safety. Police also said then that Aghadil had received an additional five days' sentence for contempt of court.

On November 15, Aghadil appeared in front of the building of the Prosecutor-General's Office in the capital, Nur-Sultan, where police rearrested him.

Before police forced him into a car, Aghadil said that his arrest was illegal.

"I indeed escaped from the detention center. I was jailed five times in just one month. The Supreme Court, the Interior Ministry, the prosecutor-general all have ignored my appeals. I have reason to believe that the detention center officials did not even send my letters. My rights have been abused. I have never broken the law, I stole nothing, I killed nobody, I raped nobody!" Aghadil said.

Police said then that Aghadil might receive another five-day jail term for escaping from custody.

Aghadil, 42, has been sentenced to 10-day jail terms several times for staging protests.