Kazakh Activist Says He 'Had To Escape' Custody To Protest His Arrest

NUR-SULTAN -- A Kazakh civil rights activist who went missing on November 13 while in custody has resurfaced, saying he "had to escape" from detention to protest his arrest.

Police re-arrested Dulat Aghadil on November 15 when he came to the building of the Prosecutor-General's Office in the capital, Nur-Sultan.

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 have all ignored my appeals. I have reason to believe that the detention center officials did not even send my letters to the named bodies. My rights have been abused. I have never broken the law, I stole nothing, I killed nobody, I raped nobody!" Aghadil said.

A day earlier, rights activists voiced concerns over a regional police statement claiming that Aghadil escaped custody just one day before his expected release.

Aghadil, 42, was sentenced to 10 days in jail on November 4 for refusing to obey police orders. His friends and relatives expected him to be released on November 14, but the Interior Ministry said on that day that Aghadil had received an additional five days in jail for contempt of court.

Aghadil has been sentenced to 10-day jail terms several times for staging protests earlier in recent weeks.