Bolat Atabaev

Kazakhstani theater director and human rights defender

Bolat Atabayev was a Kazakhstani theater director and human rights defender. He was arrested after supporting a peaceful strike of oil workers in the town of Zhanaozen in western Kazakhstan in 2011. He was charged with “incitement of social enmity” and “exhortation for the forcible overthrow or change of the constitutional order.” While in prison, he was beaten and initially denied access to a lawyer. After human rights groups and Oscar-winning German filmmaker Volker Schlondorff launched an international campaign for his release, he was freed in July 2012.

 

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