ALMATY, Kazakhstan — Some 300 opposition activists staged a rare rally Saturday to protest recent elections and the violent suppression of oil workers.
Hours later, speakers at the rally were handed jail sentences for holding the unsanctioned gathering.
Bulat Abilov, co-chairman of the All-National Social Democratic Party, or OSDP, said such rallies would be held once a month. A court later sentenced Abilov and OSDP deputy chairman Amirzhan Kosanov to 15 and 18 days in jail, respectively.
Before the meeting ended, the crowd prayed in memory of the at least 16 people killed last month in the western oil town of Zhanaozen during clashes between police and striking laborers.