Kazakh Female Civil Rights Activist Assaulted In Almaty

ALMATY -- A Kazakh civil rights activist says she has been physically assaulted by several unidentified women in the southeastern city of Almaty.

Saule Abildakhanqyzy said on June 6 that the attack took place the previous day after she left a police station where she had been summoned for questioning in an unspecified case.

An ambulance brought Abildakhaqyzy to a city hospital for the treatment of "numerous scratches," Quanysh Zhanbolat, the chief physician at the medical facility, told RFE/RL.

Zhanbolat said that the activist was discharged from hospital several hours later.

Abildakhanqyzy says she was summoned by police twice this week and was told that a woman she doesn’t know had filed a complaint against her.

Police did not say what charges she might face, according to the activist.

She is known for her active participation in online discussions regarding problems that single mothers and families with many children are facing.

Last month, she took part in a Paris gathering organized by the political opposition based abroad in which Kazakhstan’s upcoming snap presidential election was discussed, among other things.

Kazakh women have held rallies in recent months to demand increased social benefits and housing, underscoring dissatisfaction with the government ahead of the election set for June 9.

Interim President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev, the ruling Nur-Otan party's nominee, is all but certain to win the polls.

The election was called after 78-year-old President Nursultan Nazarbaev resigned in March following almost 30 years in power.