The U.S. Embassy to Kazakhstan asks the Kazakh authorities to revise the 4 years’ imprisonment sentence imposed on Yevgeny Zhovtis, a well-known human rights defender, who was found guilty of manslaughter in a road accident.
“In recent days, we have expressed our concerns about this case and urged the Kazakhstani authorities to provide Mr. Zhovtis access to fair legal proceedings, consistent with Kazakhstani law. We will continue to make the same request during the appeals process.
We note that there will inevitably be intense international scrutiny placed on how the appeals process will be conducted because of Mr. Zhovtis’ prominence in the international human rights community and as Kazakhstan prepares to assume the Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in 2010,” the embassy says in a Friday statement.
As reported, the director of Kazakhstan's Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law, Yevgeny Zhovtis, was on Thursday sentenced to a four-year term in a low-security prison on a manslaughter charge after an accident in which a car he was driving ran over and killed a person.
The victim of the accident, which occurred in Almaty region on July 26, was walking along the edge of a road when Zhovtis' car knocked him down. Forensic tests showed that both Zhovtis and the pedestrian were sober at the time of the accident.
Zhovtis was charged with manslaughter as a result of negligent violation of traffic and driving rules.
In addition to giving him a jail term, the court of Balkhash district in Almaty region imposed a three-year driving ban on Zhovtis, who was arrested in the courtroom after the sentence was passed and escorted away without being allowed to take leave of his family or collect things they had brought for him.