Kazakhstan: Imprisoned poet Atabek moved to unknown location | PEN

29 October 2013

PEN International is deeply concerned by news that the poet and social activist Aron Atabek has been transferred from a high security prison in the city of Arkalyk to another – as yet unknown – prison. His family are very worried.


PEN International reported on 29 October 2013 that the imprisoned Kazakh poet Aron Atabek is being held in a detention centre in Karagandy, and that he has been moved there in order to attend the first hearing of his appeal against the two-year solitary confinement sentence that he received in November 2012.

Two years in solitary confinement
In 2012, Atabek was sentenced to serve two years in solitary confinement in Arkalyk Prison following the publication of his book, ‘The Heart of Eurasia’, a work that is highly critical of the Kazakh government.

Since August 2013, PEN International has been campaigning for Atabak to be removed from solitary confinement and placed in a prison within reasonable visiting distance of his family.

A letter signed by Marian Botsford Fraser, the Chair of the Writers in Prison Committee, was sent to Kazakhstan’s Minister for Internal Affairs (responsible for prisons), demanding that Aron Atabek’s family be notified immediately of the exact location of the imprisoned poet.

See how you can take action:

PEN International – 24 October 2013:
Where is the Imprisoned Poet Aron Atabek?


Previous post on
9 October 2013:
Kazakhstan: Campaign to have poet released from solitary confinement

PEN International – 14 August 2013:
Letter from Imprisoned poet Aron Atabek’s son to PEN members

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty – 29 January 2013:
‘A Real Man Must Stand Up’ — Kazakh Poet, Dissident Returns To Solitary Confinement

Article about Aron Atabek

Huffington Post – 24 June 2013:
A Prison within a Prison: the Solitary Confinement of Kazakh Poet Aron Atabek
By Cathal Sheerin

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