Kazakhstan sentenced nine IS supporters, two activists over attack, unrest
Kazakh courts ruled out prison terms in separate trials to nine Islamic State supporters and two leading political activists on Monday after their convictions over the terrorism and unrest, Reuters.
While unrelated, street unrest in April and May and a deadly Islamist attack in June dealt twin blows to stability in the oil-producing Central Asian state run since 1989 by Nazarbayev, who has brooked no dissent but remained broadly popular thanks to rising general wealth until a recent currency devaluation.
Political activists Maks Bokayev and Talgat Ayanov were sentenced to five years in prison each on Monday. They led a public protest in the city of Atyrau in April that triggered street rallies elsewhere and forced Nazarbayev to shelve a planned land reform in what amounted to a rare climbdown.
Prosecutors said the nine men sentenced to terms of 20 years to life for murder and terrorism were Islamic State sympathizers who in June attacked a National Guard facility in the deadliest episode of Islamist violence in Kazakhstan's history.