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Kazakhstan Grants Asylum Seeker Status to Jailed Yakutian Anti-War Activist 

Ammosov with a poster reading "The groom has arrived." Aykhal Ammosov / Instagram

Anti-war activist and punk musician Ayhal Ammosov has been granted asylum seeker status by Kazakh authorities, his lawyer said on social media Wednesday, just weeks after his arrest in Kazakhstan.

Ammosov, a Russian national hailing from the republic of Sakha (Yakutia), was ordered to 40 days of arrest by an Almaty-based court on Oct. 9 in connection with an extradition request issued by Russian authorities. 

In Russia, the 31-year-old activist is accused of “incitement to commit acts of terrorism” — a crime punishable by up to seven years in prison. 

Ammosov's asylum seeker status means Kazakh authorities will be required to pause the extradition case against him, according to his lawyer Murat Adam. But the decision on granting Ammosov asylum is still pending. 

Another Russian activist detained in Almaty, 29-year-old vocal tutor Natalya Narskaya, was also granted asylum seeker status alongside Ammosov, the lawyer said. 

Kazakhstan is known for its strict asylum policy.

Denis Dzhivaga, deputy director at the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law, told The Moscow Times in September that, given the reluctance with which Kazakh authorities grant asylum to foreigners, Russians who apply for refugee status can expect rejection “with a 90% certainty.”

Some 327 people who have been granted asylum are currently living in Kazakhstan.

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